Is Microchipping Safe for Dogs?

Dr. Joe Alcorn, M.S., D.V.M.

Dr. Joe Alcorn is founder of Care Animal Hospital in Temecula, California. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and his advice has been featured in large publications like Bustle and Martha Stewart.

Home » Blog » Is Microchipping Safe for Dogs?

As responsible and loving owners, we want to do everything we can to ensure that our pets remain as safe as possible in our care. Veterinarians, animal shelters and dog wardens all agree that one of the best ways to do this is by microchipping our animals, including our canine companions.

Pet microchipping is increasing in popularity, but many owners still have reservations about this simple and highly effective one-off procedure that can substantially increase the likelihood of being reunited with your animal should he become lost or stolen.

To help set your mind at ease and help you take advantage of this valuable aspect of animal care, here is everything you need to know about microchipping your dog.

What is a pet microchip?

Pet microchipping is a fairly new solution that helps reunites owners with their animals should they become separated from walking or other events. It can also go a long way towards settling ownership disputes. This is extremely helpful since many animals look alike and if multiple parties try to claim the animal as their own, those involved can check the microchip to identify the registered pet owner and the AAHA set it up.

The microchip itself is no bigger than a grain of rice and contains a unique number, which can only be read when the chip is scanned using an RFID scanner – a service which can be performed by most veterinary offices, animal shelters and some dog wardens. Until it comes into close proximity to a scanner, the chip lies completely dormant.

What does the unique ID number relate to?

When the chip is scanned, and the unique ID number is read, the professional scanning the animal can input it into a secure database created by the microchip provider. This will lead them to an entry which has your personal contact details so that you can be told that your dog has been located.

Are my contact details safe?

Pet microchipping providers invest heavily in cyber-security to ensure that their customers details are kept safe at all times. No personal information is put onto the chip itself, and access to the database is only granted to authorized professionals – something which is stringently monitored by the provider.

Is the procedure safe for my dog?

Inserting a pet microchip is no different to your dog receiving a vaccination. The chip is inserted just under the skin between his shoulder blades. A numbing cream can be applied beforehand if you are concerned about your pet feeling pain, but the entire process takes no more than a couple of seconds. There is no downtime and you can go back to your usual routine immediately.

Are there any long-term effects to pet microchipping?

At the current time, studies have shown that there are no long-term negative effects to pet microchipping. The chip itself has no working or moving parts, so should never need to be replaced and while a little inflammation can occur around the site of the microchip, experts agree that this is not enough to cause concern. Almost all veterinarians firmly advocate that the benefits of pet microchipping far outweigh the risks associated with the procedure or placement of the device.

If you would like to arrange to get your dog microchipped, or if you simply have more questions about the procedure, our knowledgeable team at Care Animal Hospital would be delighted to help. Please call our office today at 951-676-4690 and take the next responsible step towards keeping your pet safe.