Microchip ID for Dogs

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Microchip ID for Dogs

by Melissa Steele

What is a microchip ID?

A microchip ID is a very, very small chip (about the size of grain of rice). It is encoded with an identification number. This identification number is entered into a data bank ? national or local depending on the brand ? and lists the pet's name, owner's name, address, and phone number. There is no cost to you for the upkeep of your address and phone number if you move or to change the information completely if you give your dog away.

Three companies that produce these microchip IDs are HomeAgain Pet Recovery Service, 24PetWatch and AVID Microchip I.D. Each sponsors their own national data base for pet information. Scanners to get the identification code from the microchip are owned by a variety of pet resources from veterinary clinics to animal shelters. Scanners manufactured to read the code from the microchips made by one company will detect the presence of another company's microchip but will not be able to read the information.

How does the microchip get inside the dog?

Much like a shot, the microchip is injected between the shoulder blades, just under the skin. It will be viable for your dog's entire life and will never need tune up or replacing. The microchip can be scanned by a handheld electronic scanner.

Will a microchip ID hurt my dog?

Well, no one likes to get a shot. But if comfort is the concern, which is worse: a quick shot or adjusting to life in a cell ? or with a new family ? when her owner is a mystery.

The scanner causes no pain to the animal.

What are the benefits of a microchip ID?

If your dog is ever lost and picked up by the SPCA, the Humane Society, or animal rescue, she will be checked for a microchip. Your address and phone number will be there in the data bank, you will be contacted immediately, and your pet will be returned to you.

What are the drawbacks of a microchip ID?

None, really. But it's important for pet owners to understand that this is far from a tracking device hooked up to a satellite in the sky. It won't help you find your pet should she get lost or runaway from home. But it will help your pet find you if she is picked up by a shelter or animal rescue service.

And you do need to make sure that your contact information is not only registered in the data base at the clinic or shelter who puts in the microchip but also with the company who created. You must also make sure that this information is corrected if it changes. An old address and phone number won't help your pet find its way home to you.

Can a cat benefit from a microchip ID?

Absolutely. Cats are much less amenable to wearing a collar than are dogs and will love the freedom of going without one. With a microchip, your cat will find its way home to you without a bothersome collar.

How do I get a microchip ID for my pet? Is it expensive?

Veterinarians can provide this service, as can most animal shelters. Animal shelters will provide the service for much less than a vet. If you opt to have a microchip inserted in your pet when you adopt it, the fee is only a few dollars in most cases. Data base upkeep should you move or give your pet away is free for the life of the animal.

The process is called 'microchipping' and it may cost anywhere from $5 at an animal shelter up to $50 at a private veterinary clinic.

Melissa Steele is a freelance writer for PawDigs.com This site features Pet Essentials with Style including stylish dog beds of all sizes and styles.

Melissa Steele - EzineArticles Expert Author

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