Why Should I Microchip My Dog?

Your canine companion is a loyal, loving and irreplaceable friend - one that may have an urge to wander and explore and runs the risk of getting lost. Unfortunately, it is all too common for dogs to lose their way back home and end up in a shelter. It is easy to think that it won't happen, but the reality is that a staggering number of dogs are lost in the shelter system each year because they lack reliable means for identification once they are found. At Hudson Animal Hospital, we feel that dogs are part of the family, yours and ours, and that is why we recommend every dog receives an identification microchip.

Traditional dog ID tags that hang from a collar are a common sense line of defense, however dog ID tags can easily become separated from your dog. In cases of dog theft, a dog ID tag is the first thing a thief will discard. However, a microchip for dogs is a permanent solution that ensures your dog can be properly identified by a veterinarian or animal shelter, and reunited with you.

Featured Quote:

We do recommend microchipping your pet. Since the microchipped pets have 20 times higher chance of being recovered and reunited with their owners.

Video Transcript:

Hi, I'm Dr. Yoshida. I'm a co-owner of Hudson Animal Hospital.


Today, we're going to talk about microchip. There are several common questions that client has about microchips, so my assistant Wendy is going to ask me those questions.


Question: What is microchipping?


So, microchip is a grain size, inert substance that looks like this. And this gets inserted under the skin. And it does actually has a certain number designated. This is actually the actual microchip apparatus. So, as you can see, there's a small needle right there that has a microchip inside. And what we would do is we just inject this under the skin of a dog or a cat. And it's a permanent way of identifying the patient with the certain number. And that number is registered under the owner's name, address, and phone number.


So, in case the dog or cat gets lost, and if it's recovered at the animal hospital or shelter, everybody, first of all, gets scanned with this microchip reader. And then when we do that, like this, it shows up with this number that is linked to the client's information. So, that's how we get into contact with the client when we find a stray animal. So, that's the microchip.


Question: Is microchipping safe?


Yes, it is. It's very safe. There is a few, however, complications. Of course, it is a needle that goes under the skin, so it might hurt a little bit, but a lot of the patients actually handle that pretty well. It's almost like a vaccine, it is a bigger needle, but a lot of the time the patients do handle this very well. But sometimes can cause a little local discomfort. Sometimes it can cause a little scar tissue forming around it. But otherwise very safe.


Question: How is my dog's microchip implanted?


Yeah, so how it is, as I briefly mentioned it, but this is what we use. This as a Home Again microchip. So, it looks like, basically, a syringe, and then we just insert this under the skin. That's how it is installed under the skin.


Question: How do I register my dog's microchip?


So, if you do the microchipping with us, we actually register the number with your information ourselves, so you don't have to worry about anything. If you do it elsewhere or let's say if you adopt an animal from a shelter, you just have to contact that company, whether if it's a Home Again or any other company, and then register your information under that specific number.


Question: How are microchips scanned?


So, scanning, usually the hospitals or shelter own a scanner like this. And then, again, we would just basically press this part, and then go over the patient and then it gives you the number. In fact, I can just certainly demonstrate with our little patient model, Naruto. So this is Naruto, and Naruto already has a microchip. So, this is a scanner, and when I scan him like this, it would show us this number, which is registered to his owner.


Question: Can a microchip track my dog if he/she becomes lost?


That's a very good question. So it is not GPS, so you cannot track a dog or a cat. However, again it is linked to the number, so if he does get lost, whoever the scanner is, they can recover your information. That's how you get reunited with your baby.


We do recommend microchipping your pet. Since the microchipped pets have 20 times higher chance of being recovered and reunited with their owners. And it comes with a minimal discomfort. So yes, we do highly recommend that. If you have any other questions, please call us at (212) 706-4088 or email us at [email protected]. Thank you.

What Is A Dog Microchip?

A dog microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades. Although there is no universally agreed upon location, a dog microchip is usually implanted between the shoulder blades. At approximately 12mm long, it is about the same size as a grain of rice. When performed by a veterinary professional, implanting a dog microchip takes a few seconds and is relatively painless. Once the microchip is implanted under the skin, it will remain for the entirety of your dog's lifetime.

Will A Dog Microchip Track My Dog Via GPS?

It is important to understand that a dog microchip is not a GPS device providing real time tracking capabilities. Rather, a dog microchip is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) device. Unlike a GPS device, a dog microchip doesn't require power, and it is easily identified by an animal shelter or veterinarian waving an RFID scanner across a dog's body where the microchip is embedded. The scanner simply identifies the company who made the chip and provides an account number. Once the veterinarian has this information, they will contact the ID company, provide the account number, and then the company will contact you based on the information they have on file. Your information is never directly released to the veterinarian or to anyone else.

This brings us to an incredibly important part of dog microchipping: Registration! An RFID chip itself is useless if your registration isn't submitted and then kept current. Don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian any questions about the registration process, in order to ensure your dog can be accurately identified by it's pet microchip.

Does Microchipping Dogs Replace Dog ID Tags?

Dog ID tags are the first line of defense in locating and identifying a lost animal. However, microchipping dogs is the second and in some ways more important line of defense for your dog. This is because microchipping dogs ensures that your pet's identification is never lost, stolen, removed or compromised in any way.

How Does The Pet Microchip Lookup Work?

To our knowledge, just about every animal shelter and veterinarian in the United States has the RFID devices to perform a pet microchip lookup. However, there are various dog microchip manufacturers, and because of this not all RFID scanners can detect every microchip for dogs. Therefore, shelters and veterinarians may keep several different scanners on-hand to perform a pet microchip lookup on a dog.

Will My Personal Information Be Accessible Through The Dog Microchip?

A dog microchip cannot compromise your personal privacy. When the RFID scanner picks up the chip, the chip only provides an identification number that correlates to the chip's manufacturer. That number is called into the pet microchip lookup and recovery service, and you will be contacted by that service using the contact information on file. This is why it is essential to make sure your registration information is accurate.

Does Microchipping Dogs Cause Pain?

A microchip for dogs hurts about as much as having blood drawn. The needle required for the injection causes a pinch during dog microchipping procedures. Because it is only a momentary injection, no local or general anesthetic is required.

How Much Does A Dog Microchip Cost?

Since it is quick and non-invasive, dog microchip cost is very reasonable. 

Are There Any Side Effects Of Microchipping Dogs?

Microchipping dogs is considered very safe. As with any medical procedure, there is always a risk of side effects. These include:

  • Swelling at the site of the injection (temporary)
  • Migration of the chip under the skin (rare and usually within an inch of initial location)

It is important to note that side effects have occurred in a very small portion of dogs and are minor. We recommend a dog microchip to every canine owner because any risks far outweigh the potential rewards.

My Dog Needs An ISO Starndard Microchip For International Traveling.  What Type Of Microchip Is This?

If your dog travels internationally, most countries require your dog to have an ISO standard microchip, which is a 15-digit microchip.  We carry ISO standard microchips for your well travelled pet.  For other types of microchip please contact us.  

How Can I Schedule An Appointment To Get A Dog Microchip?

If you are ready to schedule an appointment for dog microchipping services, please contact us today. Our staff would be happy to help you register your beloved canine friend into the pet recovery service database. Schedule a microchipping appointment today!