Why You Should Microchip Your Dog

By on November 22, 2019

Stephanie N. Blahut is Director of Digital Marketing and Technology for Figo Pet Insurance, and has authored this informative piece for Pets in Omaha. Figo is committed to helping pets and their families enjoy their lives together by fusing innovative technology — the first-of-its-kind Figo Pet Cloud — and the industry’s best pet insurance plans.

For dog owners, a missing pet can be nightmare — and unfortunately, it happens far too often. About 10 million pets are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year. A small percentage of these canines are reunited with their owners and many are adopted by new families or even euthanized. Microchipping — a simple procedure performed by a veterinarian — is a dog owner’s best defense against losing an animal companion. Here are some reasons why dog owners should consider microchipping their furry friend.

Microchips Are Safe

Microchipping is a simple outpatient procedure that takes only a few seconds. The process is similar to a routine shot. A dog microchip is a tiny piece of technology — about the size of a grain of rice — that is implanted under the skin, usually between the shoulder blades. The procedure is safe and causes little discomfort to your dog. Your four-legged buddy may flinch, but any pain that is experienced is short-lived. To alleviate fear or anxiety during the chip procedure, you can distract your pooch with a favorite toy or treat.

Once implanted, the chip usually cannot be felt under the epidermis, unless your canine is thin-skinned. The risks of any health concerns, side effects or complications remain extremely low.

Implanting a Microchip Is Quick and Affordable

Each implantable computer chip is encoded with a unique identification number that is used to retrieve an owner’s contact information, which is stored in a pet registry service. A handheld scanner reads the radio frequency of the chip and displays the information. An animal shelter or vet clinic can contact the registry to obtain the owner’s name and phone number. Chipping usually costs around $30 to $50, depending on where it takes place. The one-time fee often includes the registration in a pet recovery database.

Proof of Ownership

Microchips are proof that your beloved pup belongs to you. This can prevent other individuals from snatching your canine and claiming it as their own. In the event that your pet is lost and its chip gets scanned, your information will pop up as long as you’ve registered the chip with a database.

Return of Your Four-Legged Friend

Microchipping significantly increases your odds of being reunited with your pet if it goes missing or is stolen. Dogs embedded with the simple device are 2.5 times more likely to be returned than canines without the chip. Be sure to keep your personal information — such as phone number and address — current with the microchip registry, especially if you move to a new residence. That way, you can be contacted quickly in the event your pup goes missing and the chip is scanned by animal control, a shelter or veterinary office.

A Lifetime of Protection

Collars and ID tags get worn and frayed, and can easily fall off or be removed from your dog. Your contact information on the tag can even wear off over time. Microchips can last up to 25 years, which is longer than the average lifespan of a canine. Microchips offer a permanent identification method that can never be separated from your dog.

Vacation With Peace of Mind

While traveling with your pet can be fun, there’s always the risk of it running away or getting lost due to sudden fear or an unfamiliar environment. When you get your pooch microchipped, you can travel with peace of mind knowing your contact information will appear if your pup becomes lost and the chip is scanned.

Microchipping is a permanent form of identifying your dog to ensure its safety and well-being. There are many chip brands and registration companies available on the market. Consult with your veterinarian about the right steps to take to get your pet chipped. 

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