Dog chip identification, also known as microchipping, is essential in calming your fears if your dog is a flight risk or you worry he might be lost or stolen. Each implanted microchip contains a registration number and assists in your dog’s identification if he is found.
The microchip is the size of a grain of rice. A veterinarian, through a painless and quick procedure, implants the chip under your dog’s skin. After implantation, you need to register the chip. To do so, complete the paperwork from the chip’s manufacturer and return it so your dog’s microchip number is input into a national database. Many animal rescues will microchip their dogs before placing them with an adopter.
Microchipping gives you peace of mind should your dog go missing. This process offers a safe and reliable method to identify your dog if lost. Per Petfinder.com, microchipped dogs’ return-to-owner rate is over 52 percent while non-microchipped dogs are just 22 percent. Your dog’s microchip will last his lifetime and the cost is inexpensive, about the price of a bag of dog food.
Lost Dog Identification
If your dog is missing and has a registered microchip, contact the microchip manufacturer that maintains the database registry as the company might send alerts out to area shelters and veterinarians. If your dog is returned to a veterinarian, rescue or shelter, they will scan him for a microchip to identify a registry match. The registrar or shelter will contact you if a match is found. You must update the registry with each phone number or address change.
Other Dog Identifiers
The common form of dog identification is through a tag affixed to your dog’s collar. Purchase a custom dog tag containing your dog’s name and your name, address and phone number. You may also want to include his microchip number. Additionally, register him through organizations such as the American Kennel Club or the Mixed Breed Dog Clubs of America. Lastly, register your dog through your local licensing agency.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.