Did you know: one in three pets goes missing at least once in their life? According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), microchipped dogs are 20% more likely to be reunited with their human companions. If your dog goes missing, it’s important to get them home as soon as possible for their health and safety — on top of your peace of mind. Microchipping your pup can help you locate them more quickly. We've got you covered with everything you need to know about it here!
A microchip is a small, rice-sized capsule that works via radio frequency. It is embedded under the skin on your dog’s neck area. It’s completely painless for them and doesn’t get in the way of your pup’s daily life. The microchip carries a unique identification number that, when scanned by a vet or shelter, links your dog’s ID to crucial information about yourself.
Microchips are simply injected into your dog and don't require any power, battery, or other moving parts. Unlike a tracking device, the microchip doesn’t hold any personal data. Instead, the unique number associated with your dog will link up to a database with further information about the pet and how to contact their human parents.
If a pet is found without its parent, a trained vet or shelter employee will use a microchip-reading device to determine whether or not it has a microchip. If it does, they will be able to contact the pet parent using the details inputted into the microchip provider’s registry.
For this reason, it’s essential that pet parents keep their contact details up to date. Plus, you also need to register your dog and their microchip number to the national pet recovery database. It’s a good idea to also include emergency contact details for a friend or family member who lives close by. That way, it'll make it faster and easier to reunite you with your dog in case any issues arise with your primary contact information.
Any caring pet parent wants to know: is microchipping a dog safe? Yes, microchips are completely safe for dogs of any age and many vets recommend microchipping your pups from eight weeks of age. The sooner you microchip your pup, the sooner they’ll be protected from going missing for an extended period of time.
The procedure is quick and doesn’t include any recovery downtime or overnight stays at the vet. The microchip is inserted using a pre-loaded syringe and will last your dog’s entire lifetime.
If you’re wondering, “should I microchip my dog?” there are plenty of reasons to do so. Microchips make it faster and easier to reunite pet parents and their furry family members.
Other benefits include:
From microchips needing maintenance to their use as tracking devices, there are a few urban myths surrounding pet microchipping that we’re going to debunk below.
No, your pet’s microchip ID number will be linked to your name and contact details, but this will only be used if your pet is found. Rest assured that your contact information won’t be shown to anyone. When the microchip is scanned, it brings up a unique registration number, which pulls up your contact information when entered into the database.
Once you’ve microchipped your pet, the only “maintenance” you need to do is keep your contact details up-to-date on the database.
Simply take your pup to a local vet and ask them to scan for a microchip. They’ll be able to confirm whether your doggo is chipped and, if so, what the individual microchip number is. You can then update any details yourself as and when you need to.
If you’re taking your dog abroad, it’s important to be aware of the microchipping laws in the respective country — so be sure to always check the official government website of any international destination you’re visiting well in advance. For example:
Researching this information three to six months ahead of your trip will allow you to schedule any appointments accordingly and planning ahead will save you any additional stress.