Tracking chips for dogs are miniature microchips about the size of a large grain of rice and are based on passive RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. The chips are inserted underneath a dog’s skin and help identify a dog if it should run away or become lost and is found by someone willing to return the dog to its owner.
Dog ID chips provide more security than simple old-fashioned dog tags that can be lost if a dog manages to be freed from its collar.
Most animal control centers have equipment to scan ID chips, allowing a lost dog to quickly be returned to its owner which saves the shelter the expense of housing, feeding, providing medical care or euthanizing a pet. Microchipping is becoming standard at shelters in most cities. Many shelters also require that all adopted dogs must receive a microchip implant and provide this service as part of the adoption package. In addition to shelters and veterinarians, tracking chips for dogs are used by breeders, kennels, trainers, and rescue groups.
Implantation of an ID chip is accomplished during a simple surgical procedure where the chip is inserted under a dog’s skin. There is nothing particularly painful or unusual about this surgery. But most dogs will not sit still long enough for the implant procedure to be completed, so it’s performed using general anesthesia.
The veterinarian places a small needle-like tool just underneath the surface of the dog’s skin between its shoulder blades. The ID chip is then inserted and lodged between the shoulder blades preventing it from moving out of place. The surgery usually lasts approximately 30 minutes and there are no special procedures that need to be followed during the recovery period. A vet may prescribe pain medication if the implant site becomes painful for the dog.
Because of how the surgery is completed, the dog chip cannot slip out of place and it cannot be removed once it’s implanted. This is one of the greatest advantages to dog chips because they help to ensure that a dog can be identified.
If a dog is lost and brought to a shelter or organization with the technology to check for the presence of a dog chip, the dog will have a much better chance of being returned to its owner. A simple scanning device is run over the dog’s shoulder blade area and the information from the chip is displayed either directly on the scanner or on a separate monitoring screen.
The scan will identify the name of the dog, name of the owner, address of the owner, a contact phone number, and any special medical instructions that the dog requires.
Because tracking chips for dogs cannot be removed, they remain indefinitely with the dog for easy identification of its owner. In addition, they can contain any notes that an owner would like to include, such as medications or special care instructions. This can help to ensure that until such time the dog is returned to its owner, any information on the dog’s health conditions or medical needs are readily available.