How and Why You Should Microchip Your Dog in Amesbury, MA

Many dog owners may wonder whether or not it’s worth it to microchip their dog, and the answer is yes, it is worth it. A study of over 7,000 stray pets at animal shelters in the US showed that microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time, whereas dogs without microchips were returned to their owners only 21.9% of the time. According to the AKC, one in three pets gets lost at some point in their lives, so dog microchipping is a relatively inexpensive and easy way to increase the chances of your dog being found if she goes missing.

Dog Microchipping in Amesbury, MA

What are Dog Microchips?

Dog microchips are small, electronic transponders (devices that emit a signal when scanned) contained in a tiny glass cylinder that’s the size of a grain of rice. When a microchip is placed in your pet, it’s activated by a scanner that is passed over it, and the radio-waves put out by the scanner activate the chip. The transponder in the chip transmits an identification number to the scanner, which displays the number on an LED screen. So when veterinary staff or shelter staff scan a pet with a microchip, a number will display on the screen of the scanner, and that number can identify the pet as well as the owner.

How is a Dog Microchip Placed in My Pet?

Microchips are injected under the skin using a needle, and it’s no more painful than a routine vaccine injection, although the needle is slightly larger than those used for vaccines. Microchips are injected under the loose skin between your dog’s shoulder blades. Anesthesia or sedation is not usually needed for microchipping, and it can be placed during a routine veterinary office visit. But, if your dog is already under anesthesia for a surgical procedure, the microchip can often be implanted while during that procedure. When a microchip is implanted in your dog, your veterinarian or shelter will enter all of your contact information into a database so that should your pet get lost, any scanner will be able to obtain the chip number and your contact information.

How a Microchip Can Reunite a Dog with its Owner

When a pet is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things the staff will do is scan the pet for a microchip. If a dog microchip is found, and if the microchip database has accurate owner information, the owner can be located and contacted.

Microchipping Only Works if it’s Registered

The unique identifier in your dog’s microchip only works if it’s registered in a national pet recovery database. If you have your dog chipped at a shelter, you may have to register it yourself, and shelters do offer clients instructions as to how to do this. However, veterinary clinics may enter the information for you and get your dog registered, so you won’t have to worry about registering your dog.

Depending on the brand of a microchip that’s implanted in your dog, the good news is that the chip can be read by any scanner in the nation or the world. Also, microchip lookup sites such as AKC Reunite, or the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) LookUp service, can check against hundreds of registries and databases using the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool and retrieve your dog’s information.

Include All Contact Information

When you register your dog’s microchip, it’s important to enter all relevant contact information, and it’s a good idea to include both landline and cell phone numbers, or contact information for anyone else in your household who is part of your dog’s family. You don’t want to miss a call telling you that your pet has been found. Losing a pet can be a very traumatic event, and although using collars and ID tags are useful in helping identify your pet, collars and ID tags are not always reliable as dogs can still get lost, and collars and tags can fall off.

Keep the Contact Information Updated

Dog microchips have reunited hundreds of pets with their owners, and of course, for a microchip to work, it needs to be registered and owner contact information needs to be kept up-to-date. Microchips are very reliable and use nationwide databases and registries. So remember to update your information and provide multiple emergency contacts in case your pet gets lost.

Why You Should Microchip Your Dog in Amesbury, MA

Many pet owners buy their dog’s collars with tags, but if your dog suddenly takes off down the street after a rabbit, and goes missing, you can’t necessarily rely on the collar and tags to stay on your pet. They can easily fall off or break, whereas a dog microchip is permanent for the life of the pet. Below are listed six reasons why you should microchip your dog.

1. If your dog gets lost or is stolen, and a microchip is proof of ownership and can be helpful in cases where ownership may be in dispute.

2. If something happens to you and you cannot care for your dog. Sometimes tragedy happens, and if something happens to you, a microchip can help with the identification of your dog, and family members or your veterinarian can care for your pet if needed.

3. Microchips are relatively cheap. Some veterinary practices may charge anywhere from $25-$50 for a microchip, however, many spay-neuter shelters offer microchipping and registration for free. The cost outweighs the potential heartbreak of never being reunited with your pet.

4. Dog microchips are permanent and last a lifetime. Once your dog is chipped, that’s it, however, if you lose the microchip number you can always have your vet scan your pet to retrieve the number.

5. Microchips greatly increase the chances that your lost dog will be returned to you. Studies show that dogs with microchips are 20 times more likely to be returned to their owners than un-chipped dogs. This is a significant result especially with over 10 million pets being lost each year in the US.

6. Finally, many microchip manufacturers use chips for innovations such as using the chip to open a dog door only when your dog approaches, which can help keep out stray wildlife. Some microchip registries lost pet alert services, travel assistance services.

Microchip Your Dog in Amesbury, MA Today

Dog microchips are a relatively inexpensive, easy, and convenient way to ensure that if your pet should go missing, any shelter, veterinary clinic, or animal control organization can scan your dog, and reunite you both quickly and safely. If you have questions, or would like to microchip your dog, please call us at (978) 388-3074 or make an appointment today!

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Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital had humble beginnings in 1968. Dr. Walter Brown opened the animal hospital in a garage next to his home near the current hospital and operated out of this small space until the current building was built in 1969.