How much does it cost to microchip a dog?

A microchip is a tiny device implanted under a dog’s skin about the size of a grain of rice. It is not a GPS tracker and doesn’t display the pet’s location, but each chip has a unique code linked to the owner’s contact information. If scanned by a shelter or veterinarian using a special reader, the microchip can provide the owner’s name, phone number, address, and other information. Registering the pet’s information after they are microchipped is important to ensure that a lost pet can be returned and stored in multiple databases. If the pet is lost, the veterinarian’s office, shelter, or microchip company will contact the owner using the information on file.

Why Consider Microchipping Your Pet? 

Microchipping a pet can be the difference between finding them or losing them forever. If your lost dog is found by animal control, a rescue shelter, or a vet, they can easily scan the chip for contact information to reunite you. While personal dog tags with contact information are also useful, they can be removed or detached. But since the microchip is under the skin, you don’t have to worry about your pet going unidentified. It is still recommended to have a tag on the collar in case someone who doesn’t have a scanner finds the lost dog.

When Is The Time To Microchip Your Dog?

Your dog can be microchipped anytime, as long as they are in good physical health, to prevent complications during recovery. Many shelters require microchipping before adoption and may erase the previous information on the chip if the dog is unclaimed. If your dog was rescued or adopted from a shelter, it’s important to confirm if you need to update the microchip information or if the shelter will do it. If you are adopting a puppy, it’s common for the microchipping procedure to be done before you bring it home. It is often part of the adoption process and is made convenient by the shelter.

What Is The Earliest Age At Which A Dog Can Be Microchipped? 

While microchipping can be done on dogs of any age, waiting until they are seven to eight weeks old is recommended, making the process more comfortable for puppies. Like with neutering or spaying, the dog needs to be in good health before the procedure to facilitate a speedy recovery.

What Is The Cost Of Microchipping A Dog? 

Typically, the cost of microchipping a dog ranges from $25 to $60. The device is affordable, but the cost may vary based on the procedure’s brand and location (such as a chipping clinic, vet office, or pet store). Some shelters offer the service at no extra cost when animals are adopted.

Usually, the registration fee is separate from the microchipping cost, which is typically no more than $20 and is used to add the owner’s contact information to a pet recovery database.

How Is The Dog Microchip Implanted? 

The microchip is inserted under the skin, typically between the shoulder blades, an area less sensitive than other parts. The process takes only a few minutes, and no anesthesia is needed. Technicians use a large syringe, but the pet will only feel a pinch, similar to a vaccine shot. Some pet owners choose to have their dogs microchipped during spaying or neutering, in which case the procedure is performed while the pet is under anesthesia, resulting in no perceived pain.

What Is The Appearance Of The Microchip Implant?

The microchip implant is encased in a glass capsule to prevent any adverse reactions between the metal components of the chip and the pet’s body. The chip transmits a low-frequency signal that can be read by special scanners and displays a unique number that corresponds to the registered animal.

The microchip implant is considered the most effective permanent identification method, as it cannot be lost and lasts forever once the procedure is done. Some people avoid it due to the perceived pain or discomfort it may cause, but it is minimal and can often be done during another procedure, such as teeth cleaning or spaying/neutering.

Is The Microchipping Procedure Painful For Dogs?

The discomfort is minimal for most dogs and similar to having blood drawn. There might be a pinch or slight discomfort, but nothing severe. 

If you’re concerned about causing pain to your dog, you can have the microchipping procedure done while they’re under anesthesia for another reason, such as spaying or neutering. Don’t avoid microchipping your pet due to fear of pain, as it’s better to endure a moment’s discomfort than risk losing them permanently.

Microchipping is also safe, with the worst that might happen to be the chip getting dislocated and moving to another location on the dog’s body.

Where To Get The Microchip Inserted?

When considering microchipping your dog, you have several options for the procedure.

  • Veterinarian
  • Clinic
  • Pet shelters 

If you choose your vet, it’s advisable to discuss the cost and duration of the process beforehand to avoid unexpected expenses. Registering a dog’s microchip online is crucial to make it functional. The dog’s information will be stored in databases accessible to vets and shelters, enabling them to easily reach out to the owner if they come across a missing dog. Your veterinarian will provide instructions on registering the dog’s microchip after implantation.

Can A Microchip Serve As A GPS Tracker?

Microchips cannot be used to track your pet’s location as they are passive transponders without a power source and cannot emit a signal when your pet is lost. The microchip only reveals a unique code when scanned. Implanting a GPS tracker into a dog is impossible due to its power source and size requirements.

Making a microchip larger by adding a battery is not practical. A more viable option is using a GPS collar device, which is worn outside of a collar and is not appropriate for cats. These devices operate through a rechargeable battery, a mobile app, and a cellular plan, allowing for near real-time tracking of your dog. A GPS tracker is a useful complement to the permanent identification provided by a microchip for dogs at high risk of escape or with special training.

Final Words

A microchip implanted in your dog enhances the chances of being reunited if it goes missing. To have a joyful experience as a dog owner, making informed decisions in the beginning stages of ownership is important. You are now aware of the cost of microchipping a dog and the different options available to pet owners. Understanding the variations between tracking devices enables you to make the best decision for your beloved pet.

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