How Much Does it Cost to Microchip a Dog?

by Kristina de la Cal, Demand Media
    A microchip can help reunite you with your lost dog.

    A microchip can help reunite you with your lost dog.

    Countless lost dogs end up at animal shelters every day because their owners can’t be located. A microchip can help improve the chances of a speedy reunion with your faithful friend if he gets lost. The cost of a microchip is negligible compared to the peace of mind it brings.

    Microchip Overview

    A microchip is to your dog what the LoJack Vehicle Recovery System would be to your car. No bigger than a grain of rice, a microchip is a radio-frequency identification implant that provides your dog with permanent ID. The microchip electronically stores information that identifies your dog and links him to whatever contact information you provide during the registration process.

    How It Works

    Each microchip has a unique number that, when properly registered, is linked to the contact information you provide. The microchip is injected into your dog’s skin somewhere between the shoulders and remains dormant until activated by a special scanner that reads the chip number. If your dog gets lost and winds up a veterinary office or animal shelter that scans for microchips, the information you provided will be retrieved and you will be contacted to reclaim your furry friend.

    Microchip Cost

    The cost of a microchip for your dog is relatively affordable. Most animal shelters and some pet shops include microchip services at no additional cost beyond the regular adoption or purchase fee. Depending on the type of microchip and whether your dog gets the procedure at a veterinary office, a microchipping clinic or a participating pet supply store, the one-time fee generally ranges from $25 to $50.

    Microchip Registration Cost

    There are often additional charges beyond the microchip itself. While the registration fee is sometimes included in the cost of a microchip, most of the time you will need to pay a separate charge to register and store your contact information with a pet recovery database. The cost for registering a microchip also varies but usually falls below $20 and is generally valid for the lifetime of your dog. For best results and optimal protection for your pooch, register your dog’s microchip with a well-known, national pet recovery database like HomeAgain or PetLink.

    Tips

    Notify the national pet recovery database of any changes to your contact information. It will be tough for anyone to contact you about your lost dog if you've moved or changed phone numbers but forgot to update that information. The contact information linked to your dog’s microchip needs to be kept current for the chip to serve its purpose.

    About the Author

    Kristina de la Cal is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, “Breaking up without Breaking Down," in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images