Microchipping is a simple procedure that involves inserting a small chip under your dog’s skin so that it can be identified if it ever gets lost. At Tender Care Veterinary Center, we understand the importance of keeping your pet safe and secure and are here to provide you with accurate information about dog microchipping. This page covers the basics of microchipping and why it is important, as well as the recovery process and other smart products that can connect to your dog’s microchip. Read on to learn more about dog microchipping and why it’s a great choice for all pet owners.

What Does Microchipping Mean for Your Dog?

Microchipping is a process that involves implanting a small chip, about the size of a grain of rice, under your dog’s skin to serve as a unique, permanent form of identification. This can help reunite you with your dog in case it gets lost, runs away, or is stolen. Microchips do not have a battery and are activated by a scanner that is passed over the area, emitting radio waves that transmit the identification number to the scanner and display the number on the screen. Microchips are not GPS devices and cannot track your pet’s location.

The microchip implantation process is simple and minimally painful, comparable to a typical injection. It is usually done during a routine veterinary visit and does not require surgery or anesthesia. A microchip generally lasts for the lifetime of your pet and does not need replacing.

Microchip scanner held up against dog

Can Microchips be Used to Track Your Dog?

No, microchips are not GPS devices or location trackers. They serve as an identification method for lost pets. When a lost dog is found and brought to a veterinarian or animal shelter, they will scan for a microchip to get the unique ID number. This number is then used to search for the pet owner’s contact information in a pet recovery database.

How is a Microchip Used to Identify Your Dog?

A microchip is a permanent form of identification for your pet. It contains a unique ID number that is associated with your contact information in a pet recovery database. When a lost dog is found and taken to a veterinarian or animal shelter, they will scan the microchip for the ID number, which will then be used to search for the owner’s contact information in the database. This ensures that if your pet ever gets lost, you can be reunited with them quickly and easily.

Who Can Scan Your Dog’s Microchip Information?

The microchip can be scanned by any veterinarian, animal shelter, or rescue. All they need is a scanner that is compatible with the microchip. The ID number of the microchip will be displayed on their scanner, and they have access to search for the pet owner in the pet recovery database.

What Steps Will Be Taken if My Microchipped Dog Is Lost?

In the event that your dog is lost, the following steps will be taken to increase the chances of being reunited with them:

  1. Scanning for a microchip: When your lost pet is found and brought to a local council, vet clinic, or animal welfare organization, they will scan the animal for a microchip.
  2. Checking the microchip registry: The scanned microchip number is checked against a register, which contains your contact information.
  3. Contacting you: Once your details are located in the registry, you will be contacted so that you can be reunited with your pet (AVMA).

It is essential to update your contact information with the microchip registry and mark your pet as missing if they ever become lost. Many registries offer additional services, such as emailing veterinary practices, shelters, and rescues, which can help increase the chances of them being located and returned safely.

Why do Veterinarians Recommend Microchipping Your Dog?

Veterinarians and animal-rescue organizations highly recommend microchipping dogs for various reasons. Microchips provide a permanent and secure form of identification for pets, which significantly increases the chances of them being returned to their owners if lost. In addition, microchips are designed to last a lifetime, providing a reliable and low-maintenance identification method for pets. They also help clarify ownership disputes and can be used to quickly resolve theft cases by identifying the rightful owner. Furthermore, microchip databases store only the owner’s information necessary for reuniting them with their pet, while protecting personal information and giving pet owners the option to opt-in or opt-out of additional communications from the microchip company.

What if I Forget or Lose My Dog’s Microchip Information?

If you cannot find your pet’s microchip number, check the paperwork from their adoption, purchase, or the vet clinic where the microchip was implanted. To identify which company your pet’s microchip is registered with, visit AAHA and enter the microchip number. To update your pet’s microchip information, contact the microchip company directly and review your contact details. It is essential to keep your contact details up-to-date with the registry so that you can easily be reunited with your pet in case it gets lost or stolen.

Dog collar that reads microchipped

Other Smart Products That Can Connect to Your Dog’s Microchip

In addition to traditional microchips, there are several other smart products that can be connected to your dog’s microchip. These products provide pet owners with greater convenience and security, allowing them to protect their pets from unauthorized access and keep track of their whereabouts.

Some of these products include:

  • Microchip Pet Doors: These pet doors are designed to work with your dog’s microchip, allowing only your pet to enter and exit your home.
  • Microchip Pet Feeders: These smart pet feeders are open only for the right pet, ensuring that only your dog can access its food.
  • Collar Tags: These tags contain your pet’s name and microchip number so that it can be identified in case it ever gets lost.
  • SmartTag Microchips: These Bluetooth-compatible chips can be connected to a smartphone app that allows you to write or read the pet’s information directly on the microchip, as well as receive GPS locations and instant directions if they get lost.


At Tender Care Veterinary Center, we understand the importance of microchipping your dog for their safety and security. Microchipping is a simple yet effective procedure that can increase the chances of reuniting you with your lost pet. It also offers access to other smart products that can enhance your pet’s safety. If you live in or near Fishersville, VA, contact us today at (540) 943-9080 to set an appointment or if you have any questions about dog microchipping.