You might have heard a recommendation that you should microchip your dog. But what does that even mean? What does a microchip do? Does it hurt your dog? Will it turn Fido into a cyborg? With modern veterinary medicine constantly evolving, it can be challenging to keep up-to-date on all the latest gadgets. But have no fear; DogFriendly has compiled a list of everything you need to know about microchipping:
What is microchipping?
Microchipping is injecting a rice-sized transponder into your dog’s skin into your dog’s skin that includes an identification number to help find your dog should you two become separated. Some identification databases even allow you to store your dog’s medical information in case your dog is hurt when you’re separated. Though, a common misconception about microchips is that they function like GPS trackers. This isn’t the case. Microchips act in the same way a passport or ID does for humans. This process is minimally invasive and does not require surgery or anesthesia. It’s similar to a regular vaccine, just a slightly bigger needle for the microchip to fit in.
You might have heard about different frequencies in your dog’s microchip, but these frequencies actually refer to the radiowaves read by the scanner, which is the device that allows you to read your dog’s identification number. There are multiple frequencies used in the United States, but there’s one in particular that stands out from the rest. It’s called the International Standards Organization frequency, or ISO frequency, which allows your dog’s identification number to be scanned and read internationally, rather than just forward-backward reading scanners. Other frequencies available in the US can only be read by forward-backward scanners, which might not be used if you get separated form your dog in a foreign country.
Why should I microchip my dog?
While microchipping may seem like an unnecessary precaution, it can save hours of stress, heartache, and confusion should you and your furry friend become separated. Microchipped dogs are reunited with their owners 52.2% of the time, whereas non-microchipped dogs make it home only 21.9% of the time. Even if you lock your doors, gates, windows, and other possible escape routes for your pooch, you never know what could happen. Microchips are a great way to be safe rather than sorry.
Though, microchips only serve a purpose if your keep them registered and updated. Any time you move or get a new phone number, you should update your microchip. The likelihood of a microchip with outdated information reuniting you and your dog are slim.
Microchipping your dog is one of the best ways to reunite should you and Fido ever become separated. It’s a minimally invasive, non-painful injection that veterinarians perform daily that could potentially save you from a lot of heartache and confusion down the road.