Are Microchips For Dogs Worth It?

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Stray dog running: Are Microchips for Dogs Worth It?Microchipping a dog can be the difference between finding or losing your dog forever. A dog tracking chip can be scanned for your details so your dog can be returned to you and you can be a happy family again. Just ask Marie, her two dogs got out of the backyard fence and ran away. One of the dogs was chipped, while the other was not. Unfortunately, she has only reunited with one of her dogs again, but she will always microchip her dogs after her experience.

How Do Microchips Work?

The main function of a microchip is to help identify the pet parent’s contact information in the case that a pet is lost and found by someone. Don’t confuse this with a GPS because microchips do not track you or your pet’s location. Microchips for dogs are about the size of a grain of rice. To microchip your dog, have the microchip embedded under the skin. Some microchips have anti-migration features, which helps the capsules stay in place by bonding to the tissue.

Cost Of Microchipping Dog

How much does it cost to microchip a dog? It sounds like it’s an expensive procedure but really, it’s not too bad. Microchip for dogs cost $25-$50 depending on your vet.

Dog Microchip Lookup

In the U.S., most animal shelters and veterinary hospitals have scanners for dog microchip registry. When a dog is found, the person can take him to the vet to be scanned for a microchip. The scanner reads the ID code for the microchip and the pet parent’s can then be contacted.

Pet Microchip Companies

The odd thing about microchip for dogs is that just because your dog has one, doesn’t mean it’d be detected. The type of scanner being used plays a role in readability. According to PetMD, none of the scanners we review below had 100% reading accuracy.

Best Microchip For Dogs

Below are some of the most popular dog microchip companies:

  • Friendchip by Avid – 125 kHz
  • Schering-Plough by HomeAgain – 125 kHz and 134.2 kHz
  • 24PetWatch by Allflex – 125 kHz
  • AKC-CAR by Trovan – 128 kHz
  • ResQ by Bayer – 134.2 kHz

Best Dog Microchip Scanners

Below are five scanners and the readings they can deliver.

  • HomeAgain – Can detect and read all three frequencies. Further, it performed the best in independent testing (see below).
  • Bayer – Can detect and read all three frequencies (125, 128 and 134.2 kHz).
  • AKC-CAR – Can detect all three frequencies but can only read the 125 kHz and 128 kHz microchips.
  • Avid – Scans 125 kHz microchips only.
  • Halo – Scans FDX-B (134.2 kHz), FDX-A (125 kz), EM4102 (125 kHz) & Thermo chips. Does not read 128. Detects but does not read the 9-digit Avid chip and 10 digit AKC/Trovan chip.

Scanner performance:

  1. HomeAgain performed the best with a sensitivity of 93.6% to 98.4% for all six microchips listed above.
  2. Bayer was 97% for four chips but only 90% for the more popular 125 kHz dog tracking chip.
  3. AKC-CAR was over 95% for the 128 and 134.2 kHz microchips but only 66% to 75% for the 125 kHz chip.
  4. Avid (only able to read 125 kHz chips) scored greater than 97%.
  5. Halo performance is unknown since it is a newer device but it is limited in what it scans, so do your research before you buy.

What Does This Information Mean?

If your dog has a 128 kHz microchip, there’s no guarantee it will be scanned and found. Scanners miss things sometimes, and some scanners can’t read that frequency of a microchip. Depending on the type of scanner the location your pet is taken to has, may determine the accuracy of being able to find the chip implanted.

Microchipping Your Dog Can Bring Him Home To You

Watch this touching story of a man whose dog was returned to him 3 years after he was lost as a puppy. A reminder to never lose hope if your dog goes missing.

Microchipping Pets: Should You Do It?

Overall we’re not saying to skip microchipping dogs. We know of many pets who have been returned to their parents thanks to microchips. What we are saying is it’s important to have other identifying qualities as well.

What To Do If You Lose Your Dog

  • Always keep a collar on your dog with current contact information on it. (Yes, we realize the collar may fall off if the dog gets lost, but it’s worth a shot!)
  • Put fliers up around town and surrounding areas.
  • Contact local shelters and vets and ask if your dog has been taken to their location.

Remember, don’t give up on finding your dog, he is counting on you! Chances are someone has found him, and they are looking for you as well.

Have you ever found a lost dog?

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Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories and more. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child. In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly's research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today.

One of Kimberly's favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs, and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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Why wouldn’t you microchip your dog? For $25-50 you can have peace of mind that you have a better chance of finding your dog should it run away (or god forbid get stolen which I know happens a lot where I live for expensive breeds). Do it people!
I had my dog microchiped and he has been missing for 5 years. Nobody has called not the pound nor the vets.
It did nothing to bring my boy home.
Alise gregory
My dog Duke was also microchipped. He’s been missing for 2 months and no sightings or at the pound and I check daily. I drive through the neighborhood daily. Nothing. It would have been better if I had used a gps device.
Maybe whoever found him has no intention of checking for a chip or something more nefarious has occurred.
Kristina jones
But don’t forget it’s not enough to just put a chip in…you still have to register the chip and pay a yearly fee to keep that information active.
L Morr
I was wondering if Canine Journal has ever done a review on the companies that offer the yearly fee for registering the chips and done a comparison on them.
Thanks! Anyone have a recommendation of a company they use for registering the microchip?
Found Animals is a free site.
Nikki Davis
Thank you for this info! I wasn’t aware of having to pay a yearly fee to keep the info active until just now, reading your post. Even when asking vets about microchips and all it entails, noone bothered mentioning it to us and i feel they should’ve because it is important to know costs and everything up front. How much is it each year?