What does it mean to have my dog microchipped?

Microchipping involves a teeny, tiny chip. It's about the size of a grain of rice, and it fits inside a syringe that we use to inject it between the shoulder blades at the back of the neck. This is just as we would give a vaccine to a do but, instead, we put the microchip in. The microchip stays there and it has a unique number, almost like a Social Security Number for a person. And whenever we want to recall that number, we use a microchip scanner and we scan over across in this area and the microchip number comes up. Then we know that this is uniquely the number that belongs to the dog and, in this case, Penny. And then from here, we could recover Penny if we lost her.

Dr. Mary Beth Soverns
Countryside Veterinary Clinic

Can microchips be used to track my dog?

They don't have a tracking mechanism in there. It's not like GPS—we can't say that she's at the corner of Main and Mead. We do, however, know once we have the dog that if we scan it, we know what dog is lost and ultimately recovered.

How is a microchip used to identify my dog?

It has a 15-digit number on it that is unique only to this dog that we register. The brand that we use is the Home Again brand, so we register the number with Home Again. It gets in their database and so, if someone found Penny, they read that number back to the Home Again people, and they would know who it was registered to, where their address was, and their phone numbers.

Who can scan my dog's microchip information?

Anybody who has a scanner. You'll find them commonly at Animal Control. I've also seen them in pet stores. We have one, and all the veterinary hospitals and shelters have a scanner, so there are a lot of people that have the access to the scanner to help you identify what dog that is.

What does the microchipping recovery process look like in the event that my dog is lost?

If you lost a dog, you would call the Home Again people, tell them you've lost the dog, and what area it was in. They actually send information out to veterinarians, pet stores, and so forth in that area with a picture of your dog (if you've uploaded it), saying this dog is missing and to contact this person.

If on the other hand, you're the person that found the dog, you would scan it, call Home Again, and tell them the description of the dog that you found and the number. They would then contact you as the owner and say that someone has found your dog, and here's their contact information.

Why do veterinarians recommend to get my dog microchipped?

It's very sad when people lose their animals and there are a lot of reasons it can happen. Someone just left the door or gate open, or maybe it was a neighbor. Maybe it was a workman. Sometimes dogs just get out and, in this way, if they get lost and someone finds them, we can recover them and get them back home to their owner who's looking for them.

What if I forget or lose my dog's microchip information?

With Countryside, we have many steps. We have your microchip number in our computer. We help you register it with the main company, and we keep it on our records and in our computer so that, if you called us and we microchipped it, we would be able to find it in our computer system and remind you what number that is and help you contact Home Again.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (410) 461-2400, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Dog Microchipping - FAQs

Dr. Mary Beth Soverns
Countryside Veterinary Clinic

How is the microchip implanted in the dog?

Good question. We use HomeAgain microchips. It comes in a kit, or box, which holds a syringe inside. And what we'll do is we will direct our dogs a little bit away from us. We always use the same area so everyone knows where to scan and find the microchip—between the shoulder blades at the back of the neck. Weactually take the microchip and we put it right under the skin. It’s ust like an injection, as though we were going to vaccinate your dog.

The other things in the kit is something that's almost like a social security card. It has the pet’s unique number written on here for the owners to have. The dog can and should also wear a tag with that same number. The microchip is really tiny so it can fit inside the syringe. It's actually just about the size of a grain of rice. It's skinny and long, so it fits inside there.

How do I get my dog microchipped?

So veterinarians can definitely microchip your dog. I think some breeders might do it. Sometimes a dog club might have a microchip clinic, where they have the microchips that they've purchased and they then can register them and help you get them registered.

Where in the body is the dog microchipped?

It's always between the shoulder blades at the back of the neck. If it were a dog or a cat, that's where we put it. It's kind of like that area where the mom might carry a little puppy, as it's an area that's not very sensitive.

Is microchipping painful?

You would think it would be but it's not. The needle is a little larger than our vaccine needle, but dogs don't complain much at all. Some of them feel it and look around a little bit, others don't say anything. It’s over very quickly, just like a vaccine.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with the dog microchipping process?

I haven't seen anything. I've never seen where it developed tumors, or where it migrated. These guys are designed so that they don't migrate through the dog, and they stay pretty close to exactly where we put it. The dogs don't vomit or throw up or anything like that when they have had a vaccine. I haven't seen any side effects from it.

Is there a recovery period needed after dog microchipping?

Nope, we just do it on a regular appointment. Sometimes they're here for vaccines, sometimes they're little puppies. If it’s one of their first few visits, we give them a microchip and away they go.

Will my dog's microchip ever stop working?

It's unusual, but I have seen that happen. So here at Countryside, every time a dog comes in for a well visit, we take our scanner and we scan them, just to make sure that it's always working so you can count on it if you ever need it. The last thing I want to point out is that the new microchips can read their body temperature. So the bonus once puppies are microchipped? When they come in for a checkup, we can scan them and get their special number as well as their temperature.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (410) 461-2400, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.