Should I Microchip My Dog? Is It Safe?

This is a question we often receive: should I microchip my dog... Is it safe? There's a lot of information to go through and questions to ask when deciding if you should microchip your dog. Let's review what you should review prior to microchipping your furry BFF.

What Is Microchipping?

Microchips are teeny tiny computer chips the size of a grain of rice. They have a unique identifier and are safely implanted under your dog’s skin by a veterinarian. The information contained on the microchip includes a unique registration number that correlates to the dog's human. This information is entered into a pet registry. Most shelters and veterinarians have special readers that can obtain the microchip information. This is used when a dog goes missing, and will help reunite Fido with their humans.

Microchips may look alike - but they are not!

Should You Microchip Your Dog? Questions To Ask Before Microchipping:

Manufacturing Standards

Since a microchip is a tiny computer, it's important that all components, and thus the chip itself has an external sealing method to maintain the chip's integrity. Microchips last for the life of a dog - that's why it is so important. Choose a company that participated in the design as well as the chip. Questions to ask:
  • Do you manufacture the chips you are selling?
  • If not, who makes the microchip you are selling?

ISO Compliant?

All computer parts, including microchips should be International Organization for Standardization (ISO) compliant. These standards help increase security across all platforms. Questions to ask:
  • Are your microchips ISO compliant?
  • What is the number of the ISO standard to which they comply?

Warranty/Guarantee

Because the microchip your dog will have lasts their whole lifetime, and the fact that it is a computer, you need to ensure it comes with a lifetime guarantee. You also want to make sure that the company has a solid history. Questions to ask:
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you have a warranty on your microchips?
  • Do you replace the chip if it stops reading?

Microchip Codes

You'll want to ensure that the company you select only uses each microchip code only once. No repeats, reuse, or cycling of codes. This way you are ensured that your dog's number is truly unique. All shared codes start with 900 - these are to be avoided. Question to ask:
  • What are the first three digits of the microchips you sell?

Company Location - Microchip Database

It's important that you can reach real people via a telephone. It's also necessary to assure that any microchip company you select has a physical location and not a post office box. Here are some things to consider and avoid:
  • The microchip registry website has no phone number or location.
  • The phone is listed but you never get a real person or a call back.
  • Don't use if email is the only way to communicate.

Microchip My Dog? Yes and Make Sure You Also Register the Microchip

Here is what you want to look for in a microchip registry:
  • Listed on the AAHA Pet Microchip Lookup Tool.
  • Has live operators to handle the critical communication between pet owner and shelters
  • Can be reached hassle-free by phone and they return your calls!
  • Read their privacy policies - if data sharing is the main agenda: avoid!
  • Call the registry and speak to a representative to ask how they handle lost and found pets.
Read Microchip ID's excellent guidance on how to microchip your dog.

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