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A Guide to Dog Microchip Identification and Registration

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A Guide to Dog Microchip Identification and Registration

Dog microchip identification and registration has become an effective tool in the identification and return of lost dogs to their owners. The manufacturers of these microchips have developed databases and hotlines that allow a person with the appropriate reader to identify the dog, his owner and safely return him home.


Microchips are electronic devices that carry a unique identifying number. Barely the size of a grain of rice, the microchip is loaded into a syringe and inserted under the dog’s skin over the left shoulder. Once inserted, the technician uses a reader to ensure that the microchip is working and readable. Because microchips do not have a power source, the correct reader must be used in order to pick up your dog’s unique identification number. The appropriate information, including your dog’s name, description and your contact information is then entered into the appropriate database. If your dog is ever lost, his microchip can be read and he can be returned to you.

Microchip Manufacturers

There are several microchip manufacturers and while similar, each utilizes different frequencies on their chips and offer a variety of services. Microship frequencies are 125 kHz, 128 kHz and 134.2 kHz. Your veterinarian or local animal shelter can help guide you toward the chips and frequencies most in use in your area to ensure that the microchip will be able to be read. Because of the different frequencies, each manufacturer has their own reader to pick up that particular frequency. Some have also developed readers that can pick up more than one of the frequencies in use in the microchips.

Services Offered by Microchip Manufacturers

The standard services offered by the microchip manufacturers are registration of the microchip number with your dog’s and your information and a toll free number that can be called to search the registration database for the information registered for any particular microchip. Some offer worldwide access to the database in addition to access to your particular region.

Additional services are available for a fee, depending upon the manufacturer. Enhanced services offered often include free database information update, alternate contact information, upgraded brass collar tag, free downloadable posters should your pet go missing and wallet cards with critical information including the pet’s ID number and phone number to report a missing pet.

Pet Insurance is an option that would be tied to your pet’s identification number. Should they become injured while lost, the insurance would cover medical treatment they might need.

In today’s mobile society and the prevalence of the family dog joining his family on their vacations and road trips, having your dog be readily identifiable is important to ensure he is able to be returned to you should you become separated. While dog tags are easily seen, they are also easily lost or separated from your dog’s collar. Microchipping provides for a way to identify your dog that will stay with him for his lifetime. Most veterinarians, animal shelters and companion pet fairs offer microchip insertion for a fee and are equipped to read the microchips in order to identify you and your dog, making it easier to return him to his family.

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