Want To Microchip Your Dog? Here’s What You Need To Know…

By Chelsea Hunt-Rivera / February 7, 2018
want to microchip your dog


lost dogDoes your pet ever like to wander out of the house when you aren’t looking? Do you worry about them escaping while you’re at work? You should consider making your pup a microchip dog! Think robodog but safer (and a lot cuter)!

Microchips have been growing in popularity over the years. Pet owners no longer have to worry about their pets losing their collar. As a microchip is a permanent identification tag, a vet will contact you if your dog happens decided to go for a walk on their own.

Does a microchip for your dog interest you? If the answer is yes, then we have you covered. This article will cover what a microchip is as well as any and all relevant information.

What is a MicroChip?

what is a microchip

A pet microchip is a permanent method of electronic identification that a vet implants in a dog or cat. The chip is very small, about the size of a grain of rice. A veterinarian will inject the microchip under the skin between the back area and the shoulder blades.

By microchipping a pet, it makes it easier for dog owners to locate their lost pet. The microchip works due to an electromagnetic transponder that has a unique microchip number assigned to your dog.

Before the implant takes place, the veterinarian will scan the chip while still in the package. This validates and activates the identification number. Once the microchip registration is complete, your veterinarian will to see if it works with a microchip scanner.

If your dog is an escape artist, it’s recommended you get them microchipped. That way, if you lose your pet, then the chances of them coming home are exponentially better. This is due to the fact that most veterinarian offices, animal shelters, or a pet recovery service have a universal scanner. They can locate the chip in your pet’s body and identify them via their microchip number.

Pros of a MicroChip Dog

pros of microchip

Thinking about getting a microchip implant for your pet? Here are some of the benefits of joining the microchip dog club!

  • You can’t lose a pet microchip once it is under your dogs’ skin.
  • The microchip implantation is a quick process and won’t hurt any more than receiving a routine vaccination. The microchip implanter is a sterile applicator and will not cause any infection to occur.
  • A veterinarian will assign a pet with a microchip number that is unique to only them.  When a vet or animal shelter finds a lost pet, they conduct a microchip lookup through a scanner. The vet will advise you to attach your phone number to the chip so if someone finds your pet, they can contact you immediately.
  • The microchip database is nationwide! Meaning if your pet decides to cross state lines and is picked up, you will be contacted despite the location of your pet.

Cons of a MicroChip Dog

While joining the microchip dog club sounds like a great idea for animals, you should still be aware of the cons that come with an animal chip.

  • In rare cases, the chip can move from the shoulder blades and towards the spine. It is important that the veterinarian implants the chip in an animal correctly so that clincics and shelters can identify them by a scanner.
  • The Microchip manufacturer, Avid, has been known to have issues being read by a normal, universal scanner. In some cases, it can only be read by an Avid scanner. This can make it hard for animal shelters to identify your dogs’ chip.

Different Types of Microchips?

Different types of microchips


Are you thinking about microchipping your dog? If the answer is yes, there are many microchip dog companies to choose from. We’ve provided you with a list of the best companies for your pet, with all the information you need to know.


PetLink is a is a pet recovery service that provides an animal owner with identification products for their pet. If you have lost your dog, then they can help speed up the chances of your pet being identified and returned to you. If the veterinarian clinic is a partner with PetLink, all dogs will be registered in their online database. This will make it easier for you to keep track of your pet.

Avid Microchip

Avid is a microchip company that provides your pet with an identification chip and number. They have an online database called PETtrac which is a pet recovery network and has saved over a million lost animals. When you enroll your pet in PETtrac, the microchip number is linked to your home address and phone number. Almost all American veterinarian clinics and animal shelters have an Avid scanner.

Home Again Microchip

Home Again is another microchipping company that provides pet owners with identification products and services. These microchips have no internal energy source, meaning they will last the life of your pet. Home again microchips are also read by a normal or universal scanner. They also have an anti-migration feature so that the chip cannot move under the skin of the animal. A vet will enter a dog into the database. When a lost pet is found, someone will contact the owner immediately through Home Again.


AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) has a universal microchip lookup tool that has access to thousands of microchipping services across America. With a lost pet, AAHA can check a large database to help locate them. AAHA is also an organization that accredits veterinarian hospitals to keep up with the standards excellent pet care.

24 Hr Pet Watch

24 Hr Pet Watch is a similar organization to AAHA. It is a pet protection service that has access to more than 1000 Animal Welfare Organization databases. If you have a missing animal, you can register with 24 Hr Pet Watch and they will assign you a recovery specialist. When a dog is found and identified, the pet protection service will be in contact with the owner immediately.

How Much Does It Cost To Microchip Dog?

Sometimes a collar just isn’t enough. You might be thinking about getting a microchip for your dog, but wondering how much it will cost. Depending on what microchip company you go with above, the average price to have a microchip implanted is $45.

This, however, is only a one time fee and often includes pet registration in a pet recovery database.

If you have adopted a pet from a shelter or purchased one from a breeder, they may already have a microchip. If that is the case, you are up for no cost. Just make sure you have all the paperwork so you can register the microchip under your name.

Microchip Alternatives

dog collar

Not a big fan of your pet getting a microchip implant? That’s fine, there are alternatives to using a microchip implant to keep pets safe and help veterinarians locate them. These can include a collar or a pet tattoo.

Collar & Dog Tag

The collar is the most common form of identification for pets. You can attach an identification tag to your dogs’ collar. This will have the name of your pet, your phone number, and current address.

While this is a good safety measure, it is still recommended that that pet owners take extra precautions when it comes to losing pets. If a dog loses their collar during their adventure, it’s likely that whoever finds them will assume they’re a stray. It is therefore unlikely anyone will contact the owner.

Dog Tattoo

Dog tattoos are growing in popularity. They provide the benefits of both an identification tag and microchip. A dog tattoo is a unique identification number that is assigned to a dog. A pet is usually tattooed on the inner ear flap, stomach, or inner leg.

One benefit of a dog tattoo is that they can’t fall off like an identification tag. The other is that you won’t be putting a foreign object in your dogs’ body. Though this is a tattoo, you still have to register the unique identification code.

If you think that a microchip implant would be a great choice for your pet, then get cracking! Your local veterinarian will be able to implant the chip for you and register your dog in the online database. Don’t worry about your dog getting lost. With a microchip, someone will be in contact with you immediately when they are found.



Is a microchip for my dog expensive?

Are microchips my only option for pet loss prevention?

What types of microchips are on the market?


Illustrations inspired by our furry friend Harry


About the author

Chelsea Hunt-Rivera

Chelsea Rivera is a Dedicated Pet Parent who loves to create amazing content for pet owners and is helping change pet wellness as the Head of Content for Honestpaws.com.