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how do dog microchips work

Everything you need to know about microchipping your dog!

Johnson Animal Clinic on Microchipping your dog!

In this article, we will answer common questions about microchipping your dog. We will cover topics such as why it is so important to microchip your dog, to how it’s done and how it works. This simple yet effective implantation can be done in minutes at our clinic. We know how heartbreaking it can be to lose a pet who has gotten away from you, and we want to help you increase your chances of getting them back home quickly and safely.

                                                                                                                   pet microchip

What is a microchip?

A microchip is a permanent method of electronic identification. The chip itself is very small – about the size of a grain of rice – and is implanted subcutaneously (just under the skin) between the shoulder blades at the back of your pet's neck. Although microchips can travel around the pet's body over time after implanted, once a microchip has been implanted, it is in permanently for the life of the pet. Movement of the chip is rare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               microchipping a dog

How can microchipping help my dog?

We see microchips help pets weekly! If your dog were to get out of your yard, run out of the house, or get away from you while outdoors, a microchip can get your pet home within the hour! If someone finds your pet and takes them to be scanned, as long as your address and phone number are up to date, they will be linked to you and your information!

Most lost dogs are found without any tags or identification besides the microchip. A microchip cannot fall off or out of the pet, it is a sure form of identification whereas tags can be lost or left at home. Another aspect to this is that most dogs found with tags, are wearing 2-3 year old tags with outdated information. This is because updating your information on a tag is time-consuming and costly. With a microchip, you simply call in and update your information anytime, with no additional costs.

stats for microchipped animals

How effective is microchipping in dogs?

As long as your address and phone number are up to date the microchip will always be linked to you! Even if a microchip travels over time, it will still pick up on the universal scanner. 

Is microchipping covered by pet insurance?

Each pet insurance policy is different and may or may not cover a microchip dependent upon what your specific plan covers. We suggest asking your insurance provider about what specifically is covered on your individual pet policy.

Can microchipping be performed at home?

No. Microchips should be implanted under supervision by a veterinarian, because veterinarians know where the microchips should be placed, know how to place them, and know how to recognize the signs of a problem and treat one if it occurs. While we recommend implanting a microchip while under anesthetic due to the size of the needle, it can be done during any normal vet visit as well. To ensure your pet remains safe during the procedure, we always have an experienced veterinary technician implant the microchip under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Are risks, side effects, or complications common with microchipping?

While risks, side effects, or complications can occur it is rare. Over 4 million animals have been microchipped and only 391 adverse reactions have been reported. Most adverse reactions involve a nodule appearing under the skin where the microchip was implanted.

How can risks, side effects, or complications be minimized?

Any risks or side effects can be minimized by having your pet microchipped by a trusted veterinary professional under the supervision of a veterinarian.  Although the needle used for implantation of the microchip is larger than traditional needles it is no more uncomfortable than a normal injection.

How long will it take to implant my dog’s microchip?

The procedure for microchipping is normally quick and easy, you will most likely be in and out within 10 minutes of your appointment!

How do I register my dog’s microchip?

While registration is easy, we take care of it for you at Johnson Animal Clinic! Registering your pets’ microchip is as simple as just filling out a form with all of your updated information. If you prefer to register your pet on your own, we can provide the website information to you at checkout! Registering your pets’ microchip is vital. Without registering the microchip, it will still scan but will have no information linked to you or anyone. Basically, if it is not registered, it will not get your pet back to you!

Do I need to renew my dog’s microchip registration?

Renewing a registration is unnecessary, although some additional benefits could be appealing to some pet owners. If you did renew, it may be just for the incentive of the added benefits. If you move, change phone numbers, or have a change in emergency contacts, you will immediately want to update that information.

I forgot my dog’s microchip number. What should I do?

Forgetting or misplacing your dogs’ microchip information happens!! We get that, and that’s why we have got you covered. Most microchip numbers will be in our system, if we are unable to locate the number, you are always able to call the microchip customer service line for assistance.

The Universal Pet Microchip Lookup tool is a microchip scanner with the ability to detect any microchip brand for dogs. You place the scanner over the dogs’ neck area/entire body, and it picks up the microchip revealing the number attached to it. The scanner will provide your pets microchip number, which is the form of identification linked to your name, address, phone number and emergency contacts.

Is my personal information accessible through my dog’s microchip?

Yes. Your information will be linked to the microchip number. Most companies offer confidential plans that allow them to contact you directly versus giving your information to the founder of your dog. Each account setting depends on your preference. After your dog has been microchipped, we suggest calling the microchip company to specify any plan information or preferences you may have.

When will my dog’s microchip be scanned?

The microchip is always scanned immediately after implantation to ensure it was successful. After that, your dogs’ microchip will be scanned as needed if found by a good Samaritan.

Who can scan my dog’s microchip?

Any veterinary clinic, animal shelter, or pet store who has a microchip scanner.

how do dog microchips work

What happens after my dog’s microchip is scanned?

Once a microchip is detected, the microchip company will be contacted in an attempt to reach you. They will reach out through the phone number provided. If you are reachable, they will assist you with getting your pet back home safely. If your account is set to release your information and you are not reachable, the founder of your dog will receive that information.

Can a microchip track my dog if he/she becomes lost?

No, a microchip is not a tracking device/GPS. It is for identification purposes only.

Have more questions or want to schedule an appointment to get your dog microchipped? Contact us today!



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