Everywhere you look, you’ll find microchips, from computers and mobile phones to wild animals implanted with microchips to monitor their activities. There are several varieties of microchips, and each one serves a specific function.

For pets, microchips are a permanent form of identification that may be utilized in the event of an emergency. Microchip implants known as radio frequency identification (RFID) tags may be found in people’s clothing and other personal items.

Their size is comparable to a huge grain of rice, and they are docile and unaggressive. Because they do not actively transmit any information, they passively maintain a unique identifier number. If your dog has a microchip implanted, it remains dormant until a scanner reads the microchip and identifies the dog.

What is a microchip for dogs? 

The most obvious reason is for identification purposes. If your dog gets lost, it can be returned to you quickly with the help of a microchip.

If your dog becomes injured and ends up at an animal hospital or rescue organization, having him chipped will help them locate you so they can let you know he needs medical attention. Without one, there would be no way to contact you if they found him injured somewhere.

If your dog wanders off and doesn’t come back home after being outside, there’s a chance someone may find him and take him home but not realize that he belongs to someone else. A microchip lets anyone who finds your pet know who his owner is so they can return him safely home instead of keeping him or taking him to a shelter where it may be days before anyone realizes he has been stolen.

How is a microchip put in my dog?

The sterile microchip is scanned in the packaging before insertion to ensure that the transponder’s identifying code matches the bar code on the package label.

As soon as the microchip application gun or syringe has the microchip inserted into it, your dog is ready to be injected! The conventional microchip location for dogs is between the dog’s shoulder blades in the subcutaneous tissue of the dorsal midline (the spine). Your dog should be either standing or laying on his tummy in order to be properly positioned. The needle is immediately inserted after a little amount of loose skin between the shoulder blades is carefully pushed up. The microchip is injected into the tissue by squeezing the applicator trigger.

Scan the dog after inserting to make sure that the chip is working.

What Is a Microchip in a Dog For: Guide with Pros and Cons

Is microchipping a dog painful?

Aside from being quick and painless, the procedure appears to be safe and effective. Even in the smallest pups, the chips are routinely implanted without incident.

Microchips may be placed at the time of a dog’s spay or neuter procedure since the application needle is big and the dog can be sedated. Although this is not required, the microchip may be placed at any time convenient.

Why should I get my dog microchipped? 

Unintentional separation from one’s dog is a common worry shared by many dog owners. There are a number of ways this might occur, from your pet escaping and running away to running and becoming lost when you are out walking. Unfortunately, there are several ways for this to occur.

Opportunistic or well-intentioned thieves may target certain breeds they know are in high demand, such as dogs. It’s possible that someone may kidnap your dog, thinking it belongs to them, resulting in an ownership dispute between you and your canine companion. When you and your pet are separated for whatever reason, it may be a traumatic experience for both of you.

An increasingly common method of animal identification is pet microchipping, which may help you reconnect with your missing pet. However, many owners still have misgivings about the prospect of having their pet chipped. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of dog microchipping so you can make an educated choice.

Top 6 pros/advantages of microchipping for dogs

As you would assume, microchipping has a number of advantages, considering how strongly it is pushed on pet owners. Starting with the most apparent example.

1. Your lost pet is helped to be reunited with you

To do this, microchipping is the main goal of the procedure. It is possible to have your pet scanned at the vet or the pound if they are found and taken in by someone else. They will be able to contact you as a result of the scan and inform you that your pet has been found and is safe.

To be clear, a microchip is not the same thing as a GPS transmitter. It won’t help you find your pet if they go missing; it will only enable a veterinarian or animal control officer to contact you once your pet is located.

2. For a long period of time

For the life of your pet, you should only need to put on a microchip once. There are, of course, a few fortunate pets that survive above the age of 25, but they’re typically too frail to run away.

3. An easy and painless method of treatment

Only a few seconds are needed to install a microchip, and your pet should be able to feel nothing more than a little squeeze. There’s no need to restrain them while they resist, and the treatment won’t leave them uncomfortable or painful.

Tattooing a number on your pet’s skin is another common method of ensuring their identification. However, this operation is significantly more unpleasant and requires you to fight with your pet until it’s complete, making it less effective than a microchip.

4. The database is national

You can get your pet back even if they cross state boundaries or if you are relocating since most microchip databases are nationwide. However, each nation has its own database, so if your pet crosses the border, it may not help.

5. It’s a breeze to set up

Your information will be entered into the national database if you have your veterinarian implant a microchip and complete the accompanying papers. That’s all there is to it: Lifelong protection may be yours with only a few minutes of effort.

6. Your private data is safe with us

For example, the name and phone number of the owner might be discovered on a dog tag if the animal is found by an untrustworthy person. However, the only information that can be obtained by scanning the microchip is an unintelligible string of numbers.

You won’t have to worry about your personal information slipping into the wrong hands since the microchip firm will be the only one with access to it.

Top 5 cons/disadvantages of microchipping

While there are many benefits to microchipping, there are also some disadvantages. If you think the advantages outweigh the hazards, we’ve provided a list of them for you to consider.

1. The chip is mobile

The chip may be removed from its placement between the shoulder blades and travel elsewhere in your pet’s body in very rare situations. A veterinarian scanning between the shoulder blades of your missing pet may erroneously conclude that your pet is not microchipped and fail to contact you if this is the case.

It’s always a good idea to have your pet scanned every time you bring them in for a checkup to make sure the chip is where it should be.

2. Special scanners are necessary for some chips

It is possible that a doctor or animal control officer may not be able to read an animal’s microchip if they are using a different scanner. It is possible that the chip will go unnoticed even though there are universal scanners that can detect almost any chip.

3. They won’t be able to help you find your lost animal

You can’t use a microchip to find your pet in the wild since it doesn’t have a GPS transmitter built into it. There are collars with GPS trackers built into them if you’re concerned about your pet’s safety, but the microchip will still be useful if it is found by someone else.

4. Your pet’s health is at risk

Chipping may cause responses in some pets, although they are usually small and only last for a short time. A small chance of cancer forming at the insertion site is not unheard of. However, inflammation is the most prevalent complication.

Only four incidences of cancer linked to microchipping have been documented out of over 4 million microchipped dogs. Therefore the relationship is far from proven. This might all be a fluke, but we wanted to make sure you were aware of the potential dangers.

5. The price of implanting a pet chip

Because of the advantages that come with microchipping, it’s a reasonably affordable process. But it doesn’t mean there aren’t any expenses.

It’s probable that you’ll pay between $40 and $50 to have the treatment done by your pet’s veterinarian. It is possible that you may save money by having the chip implanted at the same time as another procedure, such as a normal checkup, which accounts for part of the cost of the office visit.

An animal rescue group or a local shelter may be more willing to place the chip if money is an issue.

Adopting from a rescue organization or animal shelter also increases your chances of getting a chipped pet. There is a chance that the adoption price includes microchipping (if it doesn’t already), but it is imperative that you change the microchip registration information with the firm so that you are contacted rather than the prior owner.

How can microchipping help my dog? Is it effective?

Someone must pick up your pet and take him to a shelter or veterinarian’s office to get his chip scanned. Some people believe that microchips are like GPS trackers. However, they only operate if they are scanned by someone.

To discover the chip’s owner, they’ll contact the firm that created the chip after they have the chip’s serial number. Also, keep in mind that a chip is only as good as the registration it’s registered with. It’s common for individuals to believe that they have all they need to succeed. “I’m finished.” It’s pointless to fill out and submit an application if you don’t keep your registration up to date. 

There’s been a significant lapse in communication. The number of pets that have been microchipped far exceeds the number of pets that have been properly registered. Obtain the necessary papers and double-check that the chip is linked to your personal contact information, including phone numbers. The same holds true if you relocate or change your phone number.

Is microchipping a dog compulsory?

 Microchipping is not compulsory in Ireland, but it is highly recommended by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) and other animal welfare groups.

The ISPCA states that microchipping is “one of the most effective ways of identifying lost pets and reuniting them with their owners.” It adds that it is also useful when identifying stray dogs and cats, which can be returned to their owners.

The ISPCA also recommends that pet owners get their dog or cat microchipped before they are three months old. This is because puppies and kittens under this age are not yet fully immunised against diseases such as distemper.

The benefits of microchipping your pet include:

  • Increased chance of being reunited with your pet if lost or stolen
  • Better protection against the spread of diseases such as rabies
  • Reduced risk of being euthanized because nobody knows who owns them
  • Less stress for you and your pets during traveling abroad

How to register my dog’s microchip? 

That’s all there is to it! Once you’ve finished, your pet’s unique microchip ID will be permanently linked to the data you submitted into the register. Thank you for doing the most crucial action you can in order to guarantee that your pet arrives home to you safe and sound.

As a matter of fact, what does it mean? Is it possible to follow your pet’s whereabouts like certain meal delivery services? You should know precisely what your pet’s microchip can and cannot do now that you’ve registered it.

This little bit of technology, no bigger than a grain of rice, has a unique identification number for your pet. It’s like a barcode for your pet, except that it’s embedded just under the skin of their body, so it can never go missing.

The microchip in your cat might have been created by any number of different companies. A universal scanner can read any kind of microchips, even if they run at different frequencies. Only the microchip’s unique ID number will be revealed via a scan.

That’s why it’s so critical to register the chip. An animal shelter may use the ID number of a recovered missing pet to search a database and notify the pet registration that the pet has been located. To ensure a joyous reunion, the microchip registry then tells the pet parent on file to do so!

You can’t follow your pet’s whereabouts around the clock with a microchip, so if they go missing, you won’t know where they are. Moreover, they do not keep any private information. Additionally, they should be used in conjunction with normal pet ID tags, not in lieu of them.

Are microchips safe for dogs? 

Seeing that your pets cannot explain where they live or who their parents are, having an identifying source may make the difference between a pet that comes home and one that does not.

Having your pet’s microchip scanned and read by a vet is all that’s needed to get in touch with you if he or she is found wandering about the streets.

To be sure, collars may be useful in this situation, but they are frequently just short-term fixes that can be quickly undone by some determined teeth or fiddled with nails. Because of their vulnerability to slipping off or being removed, collars and tags don’t do much to protect your dogs from being stolen or misplaced.

Even better, these chips have a 20-year lifetime and aren’t readily broken, making them a one-time investment and long-term solution.

If you’re someone who switches places regularly, buying new tags for your dogs is the last thing on your mind- which means your dog’s collar’s return-to address is probably a few blocks farther than it needs to be.

Like tags, pet chips do not need a lengthy and complex updating procedure. This information is not saved on an open database and, instead, must be accessed from a centralized platform with a one-time password- ensuring you don’t have to worry about it falling into the wrong hands.

If you’ve ever taken your pet to the doctor only to discover that you forgot their medical records, you’re not alone. One would want to escape the guilt of feeling like a horrible parent if you can’t remember whether your kid has had all of the immunizations their doctor keeps asking you about.

When you remember to bring the record book, it’s almost hard to locate; it always seems to vanish just as you need it. The records of your dogs should not be kept only on paper since this poses the danger of damage or loss.

However, if your pet has a chip, you may avoid all of these problems by scanning your pet with the chip reader and getting instant access to all of their immunization and treatment information. You won’t ever have to feel horrible again.

Microchipping is already a common practice in nations like the United States and is typically required for pet owners who wish to relocate. Accordingly, there are thousands of owners who advocate microchipping and can attest to the safety of the procedure.

Is a dog microchip a tracking device? 

When a pet goes missing, the owner may use a pet tracker to locate their pet’s whereabouts and get in touch with them. There are three primary forms of pet tracking equipment available: collars, collars, and collars. Using these gadgets, if a pet is located, its anxious owners may be reunited.

Before purchasing a pet tracker, it is important to take into account the cost of the device and its care, the size and cumbersomeness of the tracker, the location of the pet, and the convenience with which the gadget can be obtained and used.

Note that real-time GPS tracking is not included in microchip implants. GPS pet monitoring systems that provide this technology on a limited basis have both advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Watch How do dog microchips work | Video

Top 5 FAQs and answers related to what is a microchip in a dog for

The microchip gets scanned, and now what?

Any time a microchip is found, an effort is made to get in touch with the owner. They’ll get in touch with you through the supplied phone number.
You can rely on them to bring your pet home securely if you can get in touch with them. Founders of your dog will be the ones to obtain your information if your account is configured to release it and you are unable to be reached.

Is it usual for microchipping to have dangers, side effects, or complications?

Fewer than one in a million people may have side effects or problems. Only 391 negative responses have been documented out of the 4 million animals that have been microchipped.
The most common side effect of having a microchip inserted is the development of a nodule beneath the skin.

Do I have to re-register my dog’s microchip?

A registration renewal is optional, but certain extra perks may be desirable to some dog owners. The increased perks may have been enough to persuade you to sign up for the service again. If you relocate, change phone numbers, or have a change in your emergency contacts, you’ll want to update that information right away.

My dog’s microchip number has slipped my mind. I don’t know.

It’s possible to lose or misplace the microchip information for your dog. That’s why we’ve got you covered, and we’re here to help. If we are unable to discover your microchip number in our database, you may always contact the microchip customer care department for help.
Dogs may be microchipped using the AAHA’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup tool, which can read any microchip brand. Using a scanner, you lay it over the dog’s neck or complete body and it reveals the microchip’s unique serial number. Using the scanner, you may get your pet’s microchip number, which is connected to your contact information (including home and mobile numbers) in case of an emergency.

Is my dog’s microchip able to access my personal information?

Yes. The microchip number will be connected to your personal information. It’s common for firms to have a private plan that allows them to contact you directly rather than handing your personal information on to the dog’s owner.
Each account option is a matter of personal taste. The microchip company should be contacted once your dog has been chipped so that your specific needs and requirements may be communicated.


If you own a dog, you know that they have a tendency to run away. While this is typically no cause for alarm, it can be worrisome when they’re out of sight. Fortunately, microchipping your pups has never been easier, allowing you to track them at any time. This article discussed everything you need to know about microchips in dogs.

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