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Microchipping a Dog

Microchipping your dog is becoming a pretty standard practice across North America and is one of the best sources of identification for your dog. Microchipping is also mandatory to enter several countries around the world. Typically offered at time of spay or neuter, some puppies are microchipped by their breeder before they go to their new homes. It is a good idea to have your dog’s microchip scanned during annual exams to ensure it’s functioning properly and to verify its position.

Why is it important to ensure my dog is microchipped?

Microchipping may be one of your best chances at reuniting with your lost dog. Tattoos work well within your own province, but over time they tend to fade and can become extremely hard to read. Whether you choose to microchip or tattoo, it is important to keep your address and contact information current with your veterinarian’s office and with the manufacturer of the microchip.

How do microchips work and things to know?

Microchips are implanted subcutaneously (under the skin) between the shoulder blades. A needle and syringe apparatus is used to administer the microchip which is about the size of a grain of rice. Once administered, your veterinarian will send you home with information about your dog’s new microchip and the steps you need to follow to ensure it’s registered properly. Anytime you move or change your contact information, you can simply phone or log onto the microchip company’s website to update your information. We only use ISO international 15 digit microchips which are CKC approved and recognized internationally. Your dog’s microchip will also come with a tag for your dog’s collar. This tag will have a serial number unique to your dog’s microchip, as well as the microchip company’s contact information. This can be very handy if your dog is found, but there is no access to a scanner. The serial number on your dog’s tag can be used as a secondary source for identification.

How much does it cost to microchip a dog?

Microchipping is relatively inexpensive and can be administered at anytime. Most often they are administered at the same time your dog is in to be spayed or neutered, but can also easily and efficiently be administered during a regular examination. Give our office a call 250-334-8400 to find out how much our microchips cost.

How safe are microchips?

While its important to realize that implanting any foreign material into your pet’s body is a risk (whether it be a microchip or a metal plate used to heal a fracture), you need to outweigh the benefits to potential risks. In the case of microchips, the risks are very low. As with any foreign object, sometimes the body may react or reject the implant. Microchips are implanted just under the skin between the shoulder blades and there is always a chance of migration away from the original injection site. If your pet is microchipped, it is important to have it scanned during your annual visits to confirm it’s location in the body. More and more breeders, rescue groups and shelters are microchipping pets as opposed to tattooing. Alternative options to a microchip can be a collar with an ID tag, however, they often wear down or get lost and can also be easily removed from your pet. Tattoos can also be an effective form of identification; however, they do fade over time and depending on how well they heal, can be hard to read. Thousands of dogs become separated from their owners or escape their homes each year and microchips are proving to be one of the most effective ways to get your cherished family member returned home safely.

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