Dog Microchipping: How Much is it and Should I Do It?
No pet parent ever wants to experience the feeling of panic to find that their dog has gone missing, and there is little hope of them ever returning. It goes without saying that most pet parents would prefer to have a way to get their canine companions back home safely.
Microchipping your pet costs between $40 to $70, depending on where you choose to perform the procedure and the type of microchip you get. It is worth it to help ensure a safe return should your dog ever go missing. It is a judgment you should not take lightly.
Microchips also last for the duration of your pet’s life. Furthermore, you only need to worry about keeping the information up to date, and the procedure is simple. If you want to know how much microchipping your dog will cost and whether you should do it, check out this informative article.
What is Pet Microchipping?
A microchip is a radio-frequency identification device that carries a unique code, which can be scanned. When a shelter scans a microchip, it reveals data pertaining to the contact information of the pet’s parent. The special code is converted into text and read by a computer. The information reunites pets with their families more quickly than if the pet only wore a collar and tag.
Microchips are tiny. Most of them are less than one square millimeter and are inserted into a small piece of plastic or glass and implanted. The microchip is inserted with a needle beneath the skin, between the animal’s shoulder blades. The procedure is simple and typically painless. Once the chip is read, the pet parent is notified immediately.
What is Important to Know About Microchipping?
Once the microchip has been implanted, you must register it with the national pet recovery database. You want to use a recovery database with access to various microchip databases and technology. Without registration, the microchip is useless. It is the equivalent of having a social security number that is not valid. Some of the most widespread microchip registration sites include:
- Home Again and Banfield
- Free Pet Chip Registry
- 24 Pet Watch
- AKC Reunite
- Smart Tag
- Pet Key
When registering your dog’s microchip, ensure it has all correct and relevant contact information made available. You also need to keep your pup’s microchip information up to date. You will receive notice when your chip is due for renewal with the registration company. You will have to ensure that the contact details are current.
You may also think about incorporating a landline and cell phone number in the contact information. You do not want to miss the call telling you that your lost dog has been found. It is essential to confirm and update your pet’s microchip information on a regular basis. Do not let your precious pet end up in a shelter, never to return due to out-of-date information.
4 Reasons to Get Your Dog Microchipped
Having your dog microchipped is very important, as it increases the chances that you will be reunited with your four-legged family member should they ever get lost or get off their leash somehow. Below, we have listed some of the key reasons why you should get your dog microchipped.
1) They Help You Reunite with Your Dog
The most apparent benefit to microchipping is that it boosts the odds that you may find your loyal companion if they ever went missing. If your dog gets lost or if they end up in a shelter, they may be checked to see if they have a microchip. The scan will give them the information they need to contact you and let you know your pup is safe and where you can pick them up.
2) They Last for a Long Time
Microchips will last for 25 years, which means for the length of your dog’s life, they will have their microchip implanted in them. It also does not wear out or turn off. A collar and tags are not enough to help identify your pup, as they will often wear out and can sometimes fall off. The microchip is the permanent solution to this problem.
3) The Procedure is Relatively Painless
Implanting a microchip in your pet is an easy and non-invasive procedure. It takes a few seconds, and your dog should only feel a little pinch and nothing more. The process is:
The needle used for the injection is small, and some pet parents elect to have their dog microchipped and neutered or spayed at the same time so that their pup can be anesthetized for the injection. However, it is unnecessary for your pup to be anesthetized, as the procedure can be done anytime.
4) Your Privacy is Protected
Unlike dog tags that reveal your name, address, and other personal information, a microchip requires being scanned by a shelter or veterinarian to be able to read. With dog tags, someone untrustworthy could get a hold of the information. However, the code is impenetrable to anyone but the people responsible for getting your pup home safely.
Disadvantages of the Microchip
While there is no real downside to microchipping your dog, some faults in the system can sometimes affect the situation’s outcome. It typically only does not work out if the scanned information is out of date. However, the following includes some of the scenarios in which things can get tricky:
Some Chips Need Special Scanners
Certain types of chips require a special scanner to identify your pet. If you choose one kind of microchip, it could be that the shelter’s microchip scanner is not compatible with the microchip your veterinarian has implanted. Some shelters do not have access to this technology, although it is becoming more widespread. Microchips in the United States are detected by one of three frequency rates:
- 125 kHz
- 128 kHz
- 2 kHz
A global scanner is needed to detect the above frequencies. Sometimes it is assumed that if their scanner picks up all three frequencies, it is universal. However, certain brands have the same chip frequency, and others make various microchips.
The Microchip Must Be Registered to You
Ninety-nine percent of shelters and rescues are required to microchip the dogs and cats that come through their doors. However, just because the shelter microchipped them does not mean that the microchip is automatically registered to you.
Your companion’s microchip may still be registered to the shelter or the previous owner. It could also be unregistered. When a chip is unregistered, it isn’t easy to find the parent or family of the dog. You need to make certain your microchip is registered to you.
How Much Does It Cost for a Microchip
The good news is that the expense of microchipping is relatively low-priced. It is typically somewhere between $40 to $70. The cost of microchipping and registration depends on where you live, the type of facility you choose, and the make or model of the microchip.
Some animal shelters, like the ASPCA, will have clinics where you can save on microchipping costs. Sometimes pet insurance plans will cover certain or all of the costs of microchipping your pet. If you adopt from a rescue organization, the cost of microchipping and spaying or neutering your new pet is often included in the adoption fee.
Microchipping your pet is inexpensive and can be extremely helpful in returning your sweet pup to you if they become lost. Microchipping your dog is something that every responsible pet parent should consider, as it could save your dog’s life.
For pets in the Mishawaka, Indiana region, Lincolnway Veterinary Clinic offers microchipping for $89. To book an appointment to microchip your pet, reach out to us at (574) 256-1871 or make an appointment online!