What is a Microchip? A microchip is a small implant the size of a grain of rice, and is used to identify a lost pet. When you microchip a dog a needle is used to implant the microchip beneath the surface of your dogs skin. The microchip is placed between the dogs shoulder blades, as this is the best location to provide scan ability and it is the least likely location to cause irritability in your dog. The procedure is usually done at your veterinarian’s office but kits can be purchased for home use. You can see an implantation of the microchip by Dr. Mohoman by simply following this link.
Typically when your pet is lost the animal control officer in your area is called out to retrieve the displaced animal. Animal control officers in the state of Massachusetts are mandated to scan your pet for a chip. If you have microchipped your dog the scan will pick up your information making returning your dog home to you quick and easy. A microchip is not a GPS device and only links a verification code to your dog. The animal must be found and scanned to do this.
There are other concerns to consider before you microchip a dog. The life spans of most microchips are between 12-20 years but they can malfunction sooner. Some pet owners purchase a microchip scanner online to ensure the chip hasn’t traveled to a different location on the dog and that the microchip is working properly. When you microchip a dog it’s a good idea to do a home scan or a veterinarian scan just before leaving on a vacation. Scanning before you leave ensures the microchip is working and that if your dog is lost while visiting an unfamiliar location you have a working microchip so that animal control or any shelter that finds your dog will be able to contact you through your veterinarian.
Aside from a malfunctioning microchip other downfalls can occur. Sometimes a dog may get an infection or develop tumors at the injection sight. Life threatening occurrences due to microchipping a dog are very rare. Although there is more research still developing about dogs developing cancers related to the microchip the long-term affects are still debatable. It’s important to know if your breed of dog is at a higher risk of developing cancer before you microchip a dog. Talk to your veterinarian and ask if they have personally seen any cancer occurrences from the microchip. Also ask your veterinarian specifically about your dog breed and their genetic risk of cancer before deciding to microchipping a dog.
Most side affects and life threatening associations with microchipping a dog are very rare. If you do your research before choosing to have the procedure done you should minimalize any chance that microchipping a dog could result in any unwanted issues. Microchipping a dog is the safest and fastest way to insure that your furry family member is returned home.