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Should I get my dog microchipped?

Microchipping your dog can increase the chances that they are found if they get lost. Our Port Jefferson vets discuss the benefits of getting a microchip for your dog.

What is a pet microchip?

Vets and animal shelters can use microchips - tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips - to locate pet owners if their animal has been found. Microchips are typically placed under the skin and are about the size of a grain of rice. 

What can I expect from the microchipping procedure?

Your dog will be positioned for the microchip injection before your vet places a needle that's been preloaded with the microchip into the application syringe or gun into their body. 

The microchip is typically implanted in the subcutaneous tissue along the spine of the dog, between the shoulder blades. For the most precise positioning, your dog should be lying on his stomach or standing. Your veterinarian will gently remove a portion of the loose skin before quickly inserting the needle and injecting the microchip. When the veterinarian squeezes the applicator trigger, the microchip is injected into the tissue. 

Having a microchip implanted in your dog will not require surgery. The chip will be placed just under the skin using a needle and involve little discomfort. In fact, most dogs hardly react to having a microchip implanted. 

Once your dog has been microchipped, you'll register the chip's serial number and your dog's information with the company that produced the chip. If your dog is found, the serial number of the microchip can be matched with your dog's information to help trace you as the pet owner. 

Why not just get a collar and tag for my dog?

When it comes to returning lost dogs to their owners, collars and tags are useful tools. People can simply read the tag, and call the phone number listed on it to contact the owner.

Your dog should always have collars and identification tags in case they get into trouble. Be sure to include your name and contact number on your dog's tag. 

As good as it is to equip your dog with a collar and identification tag, tags can fall off and get lost, leaving your dog with no identifying information. Microchips are a permanent way to provide your dog with a means of identification.

It is important to keep your microchip registration information up to date. Be sure to contact the microchip company to update your information if you move or change your contact number. 

Microchips should not replace license tags and collars because they are not externally visible as a signal that your dog belongs to a family. Instead, having your dog microchipped and wearing a collar and tag will give you the best chance of reuniting with them if they become separated from you and become lost. 

How do microchips for dogs work?

If your dog is found, the veterinarian or rescue organization will use a special scanner to read the microchip. Universal microchip scanners can read all modern chips, regardless of manufacturer. The microchip will transmit its unique identification number to the scanner as the scanner passes over the dog's back and sides.

The rescuer will then contact the national database to find out your phone number so that you can be notified that your dog has been found. Should your dog be stolen, microchips can also be very helpful when it comes to proving ownership.

Are there risks to microchipping my dog?

Some pet owners may be concerned about their pet experiencing pain, an allergic reaction, or the microchip migrating internally. This method of identification has been in use for many years, and millions of pets have had their implants without incident. In the case of newer microchips, the likelihood of rejection or an allergic reaction is negligible.

Thanks to microchips, dogs can be reunited with their loving families even years after being separated from them. Ask your Port Jefferson vets about having your canine friend microchipped as soon as possible.

Is it time to have your dog microchipped? Perhaps you have questions about the procedure? Contact our Port Jefferson vets today for a microchip appointment.

New Patients Welcome

Jefferson Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Port Jefferson companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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