What is a microchip?
Microchips are small chips that use radio-frequency identification (RFID). They're about the size of a grain of rice. In dogs, they're usually placed under the skin on the back, between the shoulder blades.
To implant the chip, a needle is used, and there's no need for surgery. The process is not very uncomfortable, and most dogs don't have much of a reaction to it.
You need to register the chip number with the chip manufacturer's company. This makes it possible to trace your dog back to you if they're found.
Why not just get a collar and tag?
Collars and tags are also helpful in returning lost dogs to their owners. Anyone can read a tag, and call the phone number listed on it to contact the owner. For this reason, your dog should always wear a collar with your name and contact phone number on it.
However, collars and tags can easily fall off and get lost, leaving the dog with no identifying information. Microchips, on the other hand, are permanent and cannot be lost. Provided you keep your registered information up to date, any vet or rescue organization with a microchip scanner will be able to contact you, and reunite you with your dog.
How do microchips work?
Microchips are read using a special scanner, which most veterinarians and shelters have. These scanners are universal can read all modern chip types, regardless of their brand.
When the scanner is passed over the dog's back and sides the microchip will transmit its identification number to the scanner.
The rescuer will then contact the national database, which in turn will contact the owner of the dog.
Microchips are not only valuable for returning lost dogs, they are also very helpful when it comes to proving ownership.