I once found a dog running along the side of the road. We took her to the vet, who scanned the dog to see if she had a microchip, and she did! The vet let us know that her name was Shadow, and the owner would be there soon to pick her up. Today I decided to share where a dog’s microchip goes because these microchips are very valuable in finding your pet if they ever get lost.
So, where does a dog microchip go? Dog microchips are injected by a vet along the dog’s spine, under the skin between the shoulder blades. The microchip bonds to the dog’s skin and is permanent.
The process to microchip a dog is quick and easy, but you might be wondering what to expect if you do take your dog in to get microchipped. I had four of my animals microchipped before moving them overseas, so I’d like to share the full process on how the microchip process works and where the dog microchip goes.
Where to get your dog microchipped
Just make an appointment with your usual vet to get your dog microchipped. If your dog is going in for an appointment or surgery for something else, then the microchip can be put in at the same time. A microchip from a vet costs about $45.
Your dog does not need to be anaesthetized to get microchipped as it’s pretty painless and feels like a regular injection or vaccination.
If you don’t want to go to a vet, find a Banfield vet office in a local PetSmart and ask if they will do it. The cost is set by Banfield and may be between $35 and $50.
Petco is another option to get your dog microchipped for $19 to $30. They also offer free microchip checks in Vetco Clinics.
Where the dog microchip goes
The vet will scan your dog to make sure it doesn’t already have a microchip as they don’t want to put a second one in if one’s already there. This is especially important if you found or adopted the dog. Some puppies even come with a microchip when you get them.
The vet then scans the microchip package to check that the codes are correct before putting the needle with the microchip into the syringe.
Your dog should be standing or lying on its tummy on the vet’s table, to make it easy for the vet to access the dog’s spine.
The vet will pinch the dog’s loose skin along the spine, between its shoulder blades. This gentle pinch desensitizes the skin and doesn’t hurt the animal.
The needle is injected into the loose skin, where the vet injects the microchip.
The vet will pull the needle out while pinching the skin again, to make sure the microchip stays behind in the tissue.
Try to keep your dog calm for the rest of the day so the microchip can bond properly to its skin. The microchip will have something called an anti-migration coating, which stops it from moving, but you want to avoid letting your dog jump around or scratch the area for a few hours.
What happens after the microchip is placed?
After inserting the microchip, the vet will scan it to make sure everything’s working.
The microchip number will be registered on the database along with other important information.
Your dog will be ready to go home with you. You should be able to make a profile on the microchip brand’s website where you can update information and upload pictures of your dog.
What information is saved for the dog microchip?
All the information saved for the microchip will be sent to you in a pet certificate.
My pet certificate has the following information on it:
- Details about the microchip company’s website, app, and contact details
- Pet name
- Year of birth
- If your dog is sterilized
- The dog’s color and markings
- Microchip number
- Dates registered and microchip implanted
- Name of vet practice that injected the microchip
- Vet’s name
- If your pet is registered with the local Kennel, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC)
- Pet insurance details
- Owner’s contact details (name, email, phone numbers, address)
- Other contact details of friends and family members
What brand of microchip should you get for your dog?
Your vet will choose the brand of dog microchip to get.
Some popular brands are Schering-Plough by HomeAgain, ResQ by Bayer, and 24 Pet Watch by Allflex.
Just make sure that the brand is made by a trustworthy company that’s large enough to have a national or preferably an international database with your details.
Be sure to keep the contact details updated for the microchip. If you move or change numbers, then update these contact details and add new pictures of your dog as it ages or changes over the years.