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Microchip For Dogs: Is It Worth It?


Nearly every rescue, shelter, and even ethical breeders microchip every dog before it leaves their care. What about dogs who are adopted through a classified ad or just aren’t microchipped? Is it worth it to you, to your pet, and your wallet to have a microchipped placed under his skin and then activated?  When stories emerge from the web about lost dogs being found states away from their home, it may seem like some kind of miracle. Such as the case of Corbin, who’s family lives in Texas. He dug a hole from under his family’s backyard fence. Four days later a dog in an Ohio shelter was scanned for a microchip after coming in. Lo and behold, it was Corbin! He was found 1, 100 miles away!  It is the microchip system that made a homecoming for the lost pooch possible.

The Purpose of the Microchip

Microchip For DogsSome pet lovers believe the microchip has no real use to them, and is a waste of money.  Firstly, a microchip can cost as little as only $10! Microchipping clinics are all over the United States that allow this service for an incredibly low rate for those who cannot afford it from their veterinary clinic.  A quick search online for microchipping clinics in your area will show you if there are any coming to your town soon.  The usefulness of the microchip is very precise; it is meant to help a dog’s indentity as well as that of his owner’s contact information to be easily located through a quick scan of a microchip.

When lost dogs are found, the usual protocol is to call the local authorities or your local humane society, shelter or veterinarian. When the dog is brought into one of these three locations, the dog is immediately scanned for his microchip. This provides information such as the dog’s name, breed, age, any medical information that may be needed such as if he is diabetic and needs medication, and of course the name, address and phone number of his owner.  This means the dog can quickly be reunited with his family instead of being offered up for adoption to the public if no one claims him within a short period of time from 48 hours to 7 days as is the typical time limit for America’s animal shelters.  When that time is up, and you have not yet found your dog, or even knew he had been found and handed to a shelter, he will be available for adoption or put on the list for euthanasia.  With a microchip, this won’t even be an option as you will be contacted immediately to pick up your pet!

What About Stolen Dogs?

Not every pet who finds himself without a home is simply lost. On rare occasions some unscrupulus person may steal your pet from your parked car, front yard, or even straight out of your home.  Most of the time, stolen dogs don’t stay in the hands of their captors for long, as they are typically stolen to be sold for profit as a companion to an unsuspecting adoptive home.  Should the dog be scanned for a microchip, such as in the case of the new family attempting to microchip their new stolen pet, your information will be found and can be returned to you.

However, so many stolen dogs tend to end up at the shelter sooner rather than later.  Since the first thing a shelter worker will do with an new intake is scan for a microchip, you will soon be able to obtain your dog back in one piece.  Even if your stolen dog was given to a new home a town, county, or even a state or two away the microchip will tell anyone who scans it that his real home is with you!

Risk vs. Benefit

When you compare the risks of a microchip compared to the benefits, you may find that microchipping your dog is a no brainer.  The risks are few and far between, and are often more related to improper usage of the syringe that is used to plant the microchip.

The microchip is not invasive, sitting just under the skin if your dog’s withers.  When a brand new, sterile syringe is used and placed in the correct spot, not going beyond the skin, a microchip will ensure that if you dog is lost and found, he can be returned to you instead of going to another home or ending up in the euthanasia room, being considered a stray.  You can protect your pet with this simple, affordable injection that will last a lifetime.

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