What is a dog microchip?
Microchips are remarkably tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips. They are approximately the size of a grain of rice. In dogs, microchips are typically placed under the skin on the back, between the shoulder blades.
The implant process is minimally invasive; the dog microchip is implanted using a needle, and no surgery is required. There is little to no discomfort, and most dogs do not have much of a reaction to it.
Once the microchip has been implanted under your dog's skin you simply need to register your details to the chip number by visiting the website of the company that produced your dog's microchip (your vet will provide you with that information). By registering your dog's microchip and your details, if your dog is found, they can be traced back to you.
Why not just get a collar and tag?
Collars and tags are also helpful in returning lost dogs to their owners. Anyone can read a tag, and call the phone number listed on it to contact the owner. For this reason, your dog should always wear a collar with your name and contact phone number on it.
However, collars and tags can easily fall off and get lost, leaving the dog with no identifying information. Microchips, on the other hand, are permanent and cannot be lost. Provided you keep your registered information up to date, any vet or rescue organization with a microchip scanner will be able to contact you, and reunite you with your dog.
How do microchips work?
Microchips are read using a special scanner, which most veterinarians and shelters have. These scanners are universal and can read all modern chip types, regardless of their brand.
When the scanner is passed over a microchipped dog the microchip will transmit its identification number to the scanner.
The rescuer will then contact the national database, which in turn will contact the owner of the dog.
Microchips are not only valuable for returning lost dogs, but they are also very helpful when it comes to proving ownership if your dog is stolen.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.