Micro Chipping & Your Dog
Until I traveled to Europe with all 3 of my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, I never even considered micro chipping my pets. I resisted the thought of inserting a tracking device under my pet’s skin.
However, as I prepared for my trip, my vet’s office informed me that I had to micro chip my dogs. It is a regulation in Europe, and a pet is often scanned when entering a European country for the first time.
There are various micro chip options; however my vet suggested that I get the international micro chip. The difference is that the international micro chip has more numbers in the sequencing.
The international option also eliminated the challenge of buying or renting a scanner to take with me. The international chip is recognized by any scanner.
The procedure for implanting a micro chip is simple. The micro chip is inserted under the skin, in-between the shoulder blades using a syringe. The chip is about the size of a grain of rice, and the procedure is similar to a vaccination.
After the micro chip is inserted, please have your vet check the chip with a scanner to make sure it is working.
Your vet will also provide a tag that indicates the website and phone number of the micro chip brand/company. I suggest adding the tag to your pet’s collar, which will alert people that your dog is registered in a data base that provides locating information.
The company my veterinarian uses is PetLink. I have been very impressed with this company. Every year I am contacted by email to make sure that my records are current and up-to-date (e.g.: new phone number or address). If you use this company, make sure that you register your dog with PetLink.net. They have an international pet directory, so in case of an emergency your pet can be traced anywhere in the world.
If your dog was ever in a shelter, prior to being adopted, it would have been automatically micro chipped. However the chip may not be an international chip. You have the option to insert an additional international micro chip, but please make sure to inform your veterinarian, and make sure he or she approves inserting a new chip.
Even if you do not travel, I suggest micro chipping your pet. In the suburbs, dogs sometimes get lost, and cannot find their way back to your home. If they are micro chipped, recovering your pet will be much easier because all of their information is stored on the chip, and anyone who finds your lost dog will easily be able to contact the company. The company will then contact both you and your veterinarian.