How Does a Dog Microchip Work?by Kimberly Caines
If you think your dog's identification tag is going to help to bring him home if he gets lost, think again. Although instantly visible, tags can accidentally come off, leaving no other way to identify who the dog belongs to. Microchipping your furry pal, in addition to wearing a tag, can offer extra protection that increases your chances of reuniting with your dog.
The Microchipping Process
A microchip is usually implanted between your dog's shoulder blades under his skin. Implanting this computer chip, which is the size of a rice grain and made to work for 25 years, is done with a large-bore needle. It's painless and done within one minute. You'll have to submit requested information to the microchip company to register your dog. He'll also get a visible tag, which likewise discloses the registry's phone number and the chip number.
How It Works
If your dog gets lost, a finder can use your pet companion's tag to contact the registry to find out who he belongs to. In the absence of a visible tag, a veterinarian or local shelter can read the radio frequency of the chip with a handheld scanner. Then, they can contact the registry to determine who the dog belongs to and reunite him with his owner.
A veterinarian or local shelter might charge a fee to have the microchip implanted. The microchip company might also charge a one-time fee to register your dog. Consult a veterinarian if you're interested in microchipping your dog.
- John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images