I recommend that you have your puppy microchipped during one of your puppy's first visits to your veterinarian. The cost is nominal compared to the benefits, but since some buyers do not follow through with registration, I no longer chip my puppies before adoption.
Microchipping makes it much more likely that your puppy will be returned to you if lost or stolen. A microchip provides a way for others to identify your puppy and contact you. Unlike a pet collar or ID tag, it can’t be removed or misplaced.
Here's how microchips work:
A microchip looks like a thin ceramic “pill,” about the size of a grain of rice with rounded ends. It is non-toxic and not radioactive. It does not contain a transmitter. The microchip is implanted under the skin between the puppy’s shoulder blades. It’s no more painful than a typical injection, even though the needle is slightly larger.
Carrying the implant is not uncomfortable to the dog, and you usually cannot feel it under the skin.
The microchip is embedded with a serial number and contains no other information. Nothing in the chip itself identifies your identity or mine.
However, if for any reason your puppy becomes separated from you, any vet or animal shelter can place a hand-held scanner over the dog’s shoulders and read the serial number of the microchip.
The serial number can then be searched in an online database to find the ownership information that has been registered for that microchip.
When your veterinarian microchips your puppy, he or she will provide a registration form that you will complete and mail to the Microchip Registration Center, along with a check for the one-time registration fee (about $25). Or you may register online with a credit card. Some vet clinics will register your microchip for you, and include the cost of registration in your fee for the visit.
Registration enters your microchip into the National Pet Microchip Lookup Tool, an online database. A search on your chip number will find your contact information so arrangements can be made to return your puppy to you.
Keep It Current
If you move or change any of your contact information, you will need to update the registration. This can be done online or by telephone to the Microchip Registration Center. There is no charge to update your contact information.
Specify ISO Microchips
Ask your vet to use ISO (International Standards Organization) microchips. Although microchipping is not yet a legal requirement in the USA, most other countries require that a pet be microchipped in order to gain entry. The 15-digit ISO serial numbers are recognized internationally as well as anywhere in the USA. Although you may never travel abroad with your puppy, ISO microchips provide the most universal benefit, and cost no more.
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One of Tessa's 2020 Labradoodle puppies, chewing thoughtfully on a dry leaf.
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