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What are pet microchips, and should my dog have one?

How your dog could benefit from a microchip implant

SHARE What are pet microchips, and should my dog have one?
Service dog Nick looks around the area as Army veteran Daniel Seelye and his family attend an event where Seelye is officially given a service dog at Fashion Place Mall in Murray on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018.

Should you get a pet microchip for your dog?

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

It seems like every day there’s a new story in the news about lost pets. While most of these pets are eventually found, thanks to the miracles of microchipping and social media, some pets are not so lucky. That’s why more and more pet owners are choosing to have their dogs microchipped — it’s just one more way to keep your furry friend safe and sound.

What is a microchip?

A microchip is a small electronic device used to store data and software. Microchips are made of silicon, which is a type of semiconductor. Microchips are often used in computers, smartphones and other electronic devices.

Microchips are made by etching small patterns onto a silicon wafer. The wafer is then cut into small chips, which are often packaged and soldered onto circuit boards. Microchips are extremely small. Most are less than 1 square millimeter, making it possible to insert into a small piece of glass or plastic that can be implanted into pets.

What is pet microchipping?

Pet microchips are tiny devices that are inserted under a pet’s skin. Once implanted, the chip can be scanned, and the information stored on it can be accessed by animal shelters, vets and other organizations that work with lost or found pets. This information can help to reunite pets with their families much more quickly and easily than if they were only wearing a collar and tag.

How does pet microchipping work?

Most microchips used in animals are about the size of a grain of rice and are made of glass or plastic. Microchipped pets contain a unique identification number and the contact information for the owner or caretaker of the pet. When a microchip scanner is passed over the chip, it sends out a radio signal that is picked up by the scanner. This signal is then converted into text, which can be read by a computer.

The benefits of having a pet microchip implanted in your dog

Microchipping dogs definitely has its pros — that’s why so many dog owners opt in for dog chipping. Some of the benefits of chipping a dog include:

  • Microchips are a form of identification for your pet.
  • If your pet gets lost, the chip can help to reunite you with them quickly and easily.
  • Microchips are often used by animal shelters and other organizations that work with lost or found pets.
  • Most microchips contain the contact information of the owner or caretaker of the pet, so anyone who finds your pet can quickly get in touch with you.
  • Microchips are permanent, unlike collars and tags, which can be lost or removed.
  • Microchips are relatively inexpensive and easy to implant.

The risks of having a pet microchip implanted in your dog

Though there are many benefits of implanting a microchip in your pet, the question is: are pet microchips safe? Here are some risks of pet chipping you should be aware of.

  • Chips can migrate or get stuck.
  • Chips can cause an inflammatory reaction.
  • Chips can malfunction or cause infection.
  • Pets may be injured during the implantation procedure.

Despite the potential risks, microchips are still considered safe for pets. In most cases, the benefits of having a microchip outweigh the risks. If you’re considering having your pet microchipped, talk to your veterinarian about the best way to proceed.

How to get a pet microchip for your dog

If you want to know where you can get your dog microchipped, talk to a professional. For additional questions about pet microchipping, check out this FAQ by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The best way to get pet microchips for dogs is to contact your veterinarian. They will be able to help you choose the best microchip for your pet and will be able to implant it for you.

So, should your dog have a microchip? The answer is definitely yes! In fact, it’s becoming more and more common for pet owners to have their dogs — as well as their cats — microchipped. And with good reason: Microchipping can help to increase the chances of being reunited with your beloved pet if he or she ever gets lost.