If you own a dog then you've probably heard about the microchip, but what exactly does it do? Or better yet... What doesn't it do. In this article we'll go over some common myths about dog microchips.
IT'S A GPS!
Actually a microchip is not a GPS. It is a very small device (about as large as a grain of rice) that is implanted in your pooch around the shoulder blade area for identification purposes. If your dog gets lost he can be scanned to find your (Dog ID Number + Registry) info so you can be contacted. GPS for dogs do exist, but sadly the microchip does not have that ability.
THERE IS AN APP FOR SCANNING YOUR MICROCHIP
This isn't completely true or false. There are apps for some microchip registry companies that allow you to update your info from the comfort of your phone, but these apps do not read your microchip. You'll always need a microchip scanner to be able to read it and these can usually be found at your local vet's office or shelter.
THE MICROCHIP STORES YOUR INFORMATION
It couldn't be further from the truth. The microchip gives your dog a unique number, kinda like an ID number. This number is then stored in a database at a microchip registry company which contains your information. When your pooch is scanned, the only thing that is retrieved is the number, which is then used to find your info in the database and subsequently used to help get your dog back.
THE MICROCHIP UPDATES AUTOMATICALLY
This is probably the one people are most guilty of. The microchip is updated by the owner, not anyone else. You can do this by contacting or visiting online your microchip registry company and updating your contact info. If you don't do this then the chip in essence is useless.
The microchip should be any dog's first line of defense. It's a very powerful tool and every dog owner should take advantage of it for precautionary measures, but please understand what it can and cannot do so you can utilize it to it's maximum ability.