It’s awful to even imagine, but it happens every day. Pets get lost. According to the American Humane Association, only about 17 percent of lost dogs are reunited with their original owners. But thanks to microchipping technology, you can help ensure your pup’s safety should his collar or tag slip off and he lose his way home.

Read on for details from our conversation with Adam Behrens, VMD about how the technology works to bring pets home.

Once in a Lifetime. A tiny microchip, no bigger than a grain of rice, holds all of your contact information. Just a quick prick of your vet’s needle and it’s inserted under the skin between your pup’s shoulder blades where it stays forever. If at any time your pet gets lost and turns up at a shelter, vet or animal control facility, the chip is scanned to access your contact information.

Better Access. The main microchip manufacturers in the US now offer universal microchip readers to humane societies and shelters for free. This ensures that your dog’s information can be accessed, regardless of the chip brand you had implanted.

Easy to Update. If you move or change your contact information, just update your pet’s information via the online or phone-assisted microchip database. It’s open all day, every day so you always keep your pet’s information current.

Affordable. Unlike many medical procedures, this one is inexpensive. The cost ranges from $25 and $40, along with a small fee to enter your contact info into a database. Sometimes the fee is lower if it’s done with another procedure, like neutering or dental work.

Go International. If you think you and your pup may at some point move abroad, ask your vet to insert the new international universal chip so it’s recognized by scanners abroad.

Keep The Collar On. To protect your dog, make sure to keep his collar tag information updated and never let him roam free. Microchipping is just one more way you can help bring him home if all else fails.


The Scoop:

For more info on microchipping, talk to your vet or check out frequently asked questions from the AMVA.

Thank you to Bay Area’s Adam Behrens, VMD for assistance with this tip.

Thank you to Heidi and The Kennel Club for the photo.