Microchipping Your Dog – Pros and Cons – Part One

Microchipping your dog has become a very popular way to ensure your dog’s safe return if he ever becomes lost, with millions of pet owners choosing this method.

But there have been some concerns lately about the safety of microchipping, particularly the idea that the chip increases the risk of cancer, with the potential of a tumor developing at the implantation site.

First of all, exactly what is a microchip? The actual electronic chip is tiny and no bigger than a grain of rice which acts as a transponder. This means that it’s activated when a special scanner is placed over the device, enabling the chip to transmit the chip’s ID number, which is unique to each chip. This information is then displayed on the scanner and gives the veterinarian information as to who owns the dog. Most dog shelters also now have the ability to scan for microchips.

The microchip is placed under the dog’s skin via a large bore needle. Many dog owners choose to have this done when their dog is under anesthesia for another reason, such as spaying or for dental work, although the procedure can be done at any time without anesthesia.

Once you have the chip implanted in your dog, you must register the chip with your current phone number and address, so that in the event your pet is lost, when the chip is scanned you can be reunited with your dog.

In Part Two, we will look at the risks associated with chip implantation, so you can decide if you want to have your pet microchipped or not. Plus, we will examine the many positive reasons for choosing microchipping for your dog.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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