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What Is the Best Microchip for Dogs?

best microchip for dogs

As of 2022, an estimated 70% of American households had a pet. This number was up from 56% in 1988. With the number of pet owners rising over the past decades, concerns about lost pets have gone up.

As a dog owner, you want to increase your chances of reuniting with your beloved animal if they ever get lost. One way to accomplish that goal is to microchip the animal.

Microchipping ensures you can be swiftly and accurately identified as the rightful owner if your dog strays. But first, it’s helpful to learn about the best microchip for dogs.

Read this guide to determine what type of microchip to choose for your dog.

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Microchip for Your Dog?

The dog microchip market is diverse, with many different options available to pet owners. Consider these factors to choose the best microchip for your animal companion:

Size

Most dog microchips are about the size of a grain of rice, but smaller microchips are available on the market. The size of a dog’s microchip matters because it affects how easy it is to find the chip inside the animal.

While smaller microchips might seem better, especially for tiny dogs, they have a downside. The smaller the microchip, the shorter the antenna it has.

This antenna is made of copper, which lets scanners detect the microchip.
If the antenna is shorter, the microchip’s “read distance” is shorter too. That means it’s harder for a scanner to find and read the chip.

This can make it difficult for rescuers to scan your dog’s identification information. If you’re not microchipping tiny dog breeds, it may be helpful to choose standard over mini microchips for your pet animals.

Readability and Range

Verify the readability of the microchip and the range at which it can be detected by a scanner. A good microchip should be easily readable at standard distances used in shelters and veterinary clinics.

Material

All dog microchips should be made of biocompatible materials to minimize discomfort and the risk of allergic reactions. Before choosing a microchipping product for your dog, make sure it’s completely safe to implant under the animal’s skin.

Migration Risk

A quality microchip should stay in place once implanted to reduce the risk of it moving around in your dog’s body and causing problems. Ask about the microchip’s anti-migration features before choosing it.

Compatibility With Scanners

A good dog microchip is ISO 11784:1996 compliant. This is the international standard for pet microchips and is readable by universal scanners. This helps ensure the microchip is easily readable at standard distances by the scanners used in animal shelters and veterinary clinics. Compatibility with universal scanners also comes in handy if you travel abroad with your dog.

Data Registration

When getting your dog microchipped, choose a microchip that offers easy access to a reliable pet recovery database. Make sure the database is kept up-to-date and works 24/7.

Check if there are any fees required for database registration or updates. Some databases offer free lifetime enrollment, while others may charge an annual fee.

Customer Support

If your dog goes missing, you may need help with updating your information on the pet recovery database. Choose a company that offers excellent customer support, which is available round-the-clock.

Brand Reputation

Research the brand and read reviews from other pet owners. A well-known brand with lots of positive customer feedback is likely to provide a reliable and high-quality microchip for your dog. They may also offer a manufacturer’s warranty for your peace of mind.

Price

The prices of dog microchips can vary greatly depending on a combination of factors. Avoid cutting corners on your pet microchip implantation, as cheaper options may end up costing you more in the long run if they fail.

Every dog owner has unique microchipping requirements for their animal. By thinking through the above factors, you can increase your chances of selecting the best microchip for your dog, in terms of both functionality and budget.

What Are the Advantages of Dog Microchipping?

Investing in a dog microchip can be beneficial to you and your pet animal in many ways. Explore the top benefits of dog microchipping below:

Permanent Identification

Unlike collars or tags that can break or fall off, a microchip is a permanent form of identification. Once implanted, it stays securely under your dog’s skin throughout its life.

Quick Reunion

Your chances of a quick reunion with a lost dog increase if the pet has a microchip. Shelters and veterinarians routinely scan found pets for microchips, facilitating their fast return to the rightful owner.

Proof of Ownership

In disputed cases of ownership, a microchip provides definitive proof you are the dog’s owner, protecting you and your pet from potential legal complications.

Travel Security

The risk of your dog getting lost increases when traveling. Although a microchip isn’t used for tracking a dog, it can make it easier to reclaim your pet even if you’re abroad.

Ease of Use

Once implanted, a microchip requires no maintenance or action on your part, other than keeping your contact information updated in the microchip registry.

Health and Safety

In emergency situations, a microchip can quickly provide your contact information, reducing stress for your pet and ensuring it receives the care it needs without delay.

Peace of Mind

If your dog becomes lost, the stress and uncertainty can be overwhelming. Knowing your dog is microchipped can provide a level of comfort, knowing there’s a higher chance your dog can be identified and returned, even if you can’t track it.

Cost-Effectiveness

Despite its invaluable benefits, microchipping is an affordable one-time expense. There are no ongoing costs, and considering the security it provides, it is a cost-effective solution for any pet owner concerned about their dog’s safety and their own peace of mind.

The process of microchipping is swift and causes minimal discomfort – comparable to a routine vaccination. This means your dog won’t be unduly stressed or in pain.

Plus, microchipping is a one-time procedure that provides lifelong identification for your dog. There’s no need for repeated visits to the vet for this purpose, making it a convenient and cost-efficient option.

Once the microchip is implanted, it can be activated immediately. Your dog’s identification is instantly in place, giving you peace of mind from the moment you leave the vet’s office.

How Much Does It Cost to Microchip Your Dog?

Like many budget-conscious pet owners, you want to know how much you will be required to pay for your dog microchipping. This will allow you to get the funds ready.

Location and Clinic

Where you live and the specific clinic or vet facility you choose for the procedure can influence the cost. For example, veterinary clinics in urban areas might charge more than those in rural areas due to higher operational costs.

Type of Microchip

There are various types of microchips available in the market, some with advanced features like anti-migration technology or enhanced read ranges. Premium microchips might cost more than basic ones.

Registration Fees

While the microchip itself is a one-time implant, some companies charge a fee to register your pet’s information in their database. Some offer a one-time fee, while others might have annual charges.

Scanner Compatibility

ISO-compliant microchips might be priced differently from non-ISO chips. ISO chips tend to be universally readable, ensuring compatibility with most scanners, which could affect their pricing.

Included Services

Some microchipping packages might include additional services, such as a health check-up, a collar tag, or a certificate of microchipping. Packages that offer these added benefits could be priced higher.

Brand and Quality

Just like any other product, brand reputation and quality can play a role in pricing. Well-known brands with a track record of reliability might charge premium prices for their microchips.

Discounts or Promotions

Sometimes, local shelters, NGOs, or community events offer subsidized or discounted microchipping services as part of promotional campaigns or public welfare initiatives.

Procedure Complexity

If your dog requires sedation (rarely needed for microchipping) or if there are any other complexities involved in the procedure, the costs might increase.

Follow-Up Visits

While not directly related to the microchipping itself, a vet may recommend follow-up visits to ensure the microchip is functioning correctly and hasn’t migrated. This could add to the overall cost.

Understanding factors that influence the cost of microchipping a dog can help you make informed choices and avoid overpaying. That said, the peace of mind and security microchipping offers for your dog’s safety are invaluable.

We Help Pet Owners Like You Find the Best Microchip for Dogs

Looking to microchip a pet dog? Dogs are cherished family members. If your dog doesn’t have a microchip, getting one is essential for ensuring its personal safety and peace of mind.

At All Animals Veterinary Clinic, we’ve been caring for dogs, cats, and other animals in Lebanon, IN for over three decades. As an experienced veterinary business, we know what pet owners mean when they say they want the best microchip for dogs.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance with your pet care needs.

The All Animal Vet Clinic is here to help guide you through the journey of owning a new puppy.

Contact us to schedule an appointment in our Lebanon, Indiana Clinic.