Canine microchipping has become more and more popular in recent years with roughly 10 million dogs receiving the implant. If you own a Chihuahua, chances are you've at least considered microchipping them before. However, any smart and caring owner should weigh the advantages and disadvantages associated with this procedure before jumping into it. The fact is that there is a lot of bad information out there regarding canine microchipping, and as a result, some owners may make the wrong decision.
The grim truth is that over 1 million dog stray dogs are picked up by animal shelters throughout the U.S. each year. Of those million plus dogs, only 10-15% are ever returned to their original owner. The rest are either sent to no-kill rescues, adopted out to willing owners, or they're euthanized. No one likes to think about their Chihuahua running off and getting picked up by the pound, but it's a situation that happens more frequently than you may realize. Thankfully, however, microchipping could offer a solution to set your mind at ease; here's how it works:
Overview Canine Microchipping
Canine microchipping is a simple procedure in which a small rice-sized microchip is implanted directly underneath the dog's skin. Contrary to popular belief, most traditional microchips do NOT actually track your dog's location via GPS or any other type of locational service. Instead, the microchip contains specific information regarding who the dog's name, health conditions, breed and most importantly, their owner's phone number and address. Lets hope this never happens, but if your Chihuahua is microchipped and runs away, a pound or shelter can run a remote scanning device over their body to locate the chip and the information it contains.
Typically, in order for most microchips to function as they should, the owner will need to register their dog's information with the veterinarian performing the procedure. If they don't or if they give incorrect information, scanning the chip might not reveal anything; therefore, it would then make it useless. If you plan on getting your Chihuahua microchipped, talk to your veterinarian to find out what you need to do to register their information.
How Are Chihuahuas Microchipped?
On the surface, the thought of having a microchip implanted into a small Chihuahua's body might sound like an invasive and downright painful process. After all, the procedure involves placing a foreign object under their skin, so most people would assume that it's painful. The fact is, however, that microchipping is a simple procedure that takes less than a minute. The Chihuahua is placed in a comfortable position and a gun-like device shoots the microchip directly underneath their skin. As long as it's done right, most Chihuahuas won't even flinch during the procedure.
Advantages of Microchipping Your Chihuahua
- Allows shelters, pounds and animal control officers to contact you in the event your Chihuahua is lost or runs away.
- Notifies those who find your Chihuahua of any important health conditions.
- Contains medical history, vaccination records and a list of any current medication your Chihuahua is taking.
- Inexpensive procedure that usually costs between $20-$50 bucks.
- Never needs to be replaced or repaired.
- Doesn't hurt or harm your Chihuahua.
Disadvantages of Microchipping Your Chihuahua
- Some shelters may not have the scanning tools necessary to read microchips.
- Some owners may forget to register their Chihuahua's information in the database.
- Although it's extremely rare, there have been a few known cases of the microchip moving underneath the dog's skin. This doesn't hurt the dog, but it can make it more difficult for shelters to locate.
How Do I Microchip My Chihuahua?
There are several different methods which allow you to have your Chihuahua microchipped. If you're looking for an inexpensive, safe and effective way to microchip your Chihuahua, you can call up some of the veterinarian offices around your area to ask if they perform the procedure. Most veterinarians will do it for a relatively low fee, and it's nice to know that the procedure is being done by professional. There are also mobile vans that travel the country to perform canine microchipping. The problem is that it's oftentimes difficult to find out when they come through your town. The best thing to do is ask some of the pet stores around your area if they know of any microchipping vans coming through.
Another option you have for microchipping your Chihuahua is to purchase a do-it-yourself kit from the American Kennel Club (AKC). These kits are simple and easy to use, but some owners may be afraid of hurting their Chihuahua. For this reason, it's best to leave this procedure up to a professional, especially considering how inexpensive it is.
Video: Puppy Getting Microchipped