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Understanding the Basics: Your Dog's Microchip
January 15, 2021

Are you a new pet owner? You might not have heard of microchips before. But it’s a good idea to understand them—they’re the best way to keep your dog properly identified for a lifetime! Here, your Raleigh, NC veterinarian tells you everything you need to know. 


What’s a microchip?

A microchip is a tiny computer chip. On this chip, an identification number is implanted electronically. The number corresponds with the chip manufacturer’s database, where your dog’s contact information is stored. 


The chip gets implanted under your pet’s skin. If your dog gets lost or runs away and is then returned to an animal shelter or vet’s office, special scanner devices there can read the chip’s number. Then, the number is cross-referenced with the database to find the pet’s rightful owner—you! 


What’s the benefit of a microchip? 

Microchips are more secure than ID tags on the collar. Your pet can’t remove their chip, either by accident or on purpose. Most pet owners actually use a microchip and ID tags at the same time for maximum effectiveness. 


Another great benefit of the microchip is that it’s cost-effective. You’ll only have to purchase one, and it will most likely work for your pet’s entire life. Even if you get a new phone number or change addresses, you can simply update the database’s information while your pet keeps the same chip. 


How is the microchip implanted?

The computer chip itself is housed in a tiny protective glass capsule, about the size of a large grain of rice. That unit is inserted under your dog’s skin with a syringe-like device, and then scar tissue develops around it to secure it in place. The entire process only takes a moment, and it’s just like a regular shot. Your pet will barely feel a thing! 


Is there any risk?

The microchip procedure is virtually risk-free. There’s some chance of minor side-effects like swelling around the injection site, but this almost always goes away on its own in a short time. If your pet’s implant site concerns you after they’ve received their microchip, contact your vet’s office for help. 


How do I get my dog microchipped? 

Get in touch with the professionals at your Raleigh, NC veterinary clinic to get your dog microchipped if they’re not already. It’s one of the best ways to ensure your pet’s well-being throughout life, and it’s well worth the peace of mind!

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