The Macro Benefits of Microchipping Your Dog
Sure, microchips can feel a little 1984. But if your pup has a chip, they’re four times more likely to make it home if they get lost.
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Microchipping your dog is one of those things that may sound alarming initially but is actually incredibly useful. I get it — the idea of sticking a piece of technology into any living thing’s body is inevitably going to raise concerns about Big Brother but, believe it or not, there is no 1984-esque surveillance going on here. Instead, microchipping is a simple and effective means of preparing for the truly awful experience of losing your dog by giving them the best chance of making it home. Beyond that, there are a few other benefits that’d make it difficult for even George Orwell to argue against.
For Real Though, WTH is a Microchip?
A microchip is a tiny capsule with a radio-frequency identification transponder embedded within that’s injected under the loose skin on the back of a dog’s neck. Again, this sounds much more invasive than it really is. The capsule is about the size of a grain of rice, and the entire ordeal results in roughly the same amount of discomfort as a vaccination. To be clear — it’s not GPS. It does not require battery power or transit signals. It simply sits inside your pup and holds identification information.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), “GPS devices and microchips aren’t substitutes for each other; they’re complementary, and each is useful to locating a lost dog in different ways. A GPS may tell you where your dog is, but it can’t provide your contact information to those nearby that would help return him home.”
The Benefits of Microchipping Your Dog
1. It’ll Help Bring Them Home
As previously stated, microchips have no tracking ability. However, they do provide the proper contact information so that almost any veterinarian or shelter will be able to identify and reach their owners. In fact, AKC claims that lost pets who have microchips are up to 20% more likely to be reunited with their humans.
2. The Contact Info Will Live On A National Database
All the info you register (phone number, address, email, etc.) will exist on a national database, such as the American Animal Hospital Association’s Universal Microchip Pet Lookup Tool, so even if they imitate your gap year and try to go cross country, you’ll still be able to find them.
3. It’s Permanent
Unlike collars or tags, a microchip can’t be lost or broken. It can’t be removed without the aid of a professional veterinarian. So if any shelter, rescue, or vet office finds your pup or they’re brought to them, they’ll be able to bring them home.
4. Microchips Protect Against Theft
No one wants to believe that people are capable of trying to steal your dog but, let’s be real, cuteness can come at a cost. However, if you find yourself in the unenviable situation of needing to prove ownership, microchips provide all the tools necessary. One scan from a vet and you’ll be bringing your dog home.
5. They’re Quick and Relatively Inexpensive
The whole procedure doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes and costs around $50 on average. There may be additional registration fees depending on what service you use, but they similarly won’t break the bank.
If you’re interested in microchipping your pet, talk to your veterinarian so you (and your dog) can feel protected.
Sean Zucker is a writer whose work has been featured in Points In Case, The Daily Drunk, Posty, and WellWell. He has an adopted Pit Bull named Banshee whose work has been featured on the kitchen floor and whose behavioral issues rival his own.