Microchip…..or to not Microchip?

Bells Shows her Microchip getting scanned

Do you really need a microchip for your dog or cat?

A microchip is a rice grain sized pellet that is injected under the skin of your pet that allows the animal to be traced back to the owner if the pet becomes lost or escapes his/her confines.  The whole procedure at your vet, from parking the car to hugging the receptionist good bye takes less than a half hour.  Is it painful?  Consider what you might feel if donating blood, that’s it.  The deal includes a tag with a phone number to call and a chip ID if the animal is discovered by a person without a scanner. (Most shelters and animal control agents carry a scanner that recognizes the chip).

Do you really need a microchip for your dog or cat?  Listen to this.

Bella Kerns Microchip scan demo

Nokomis, my Golden Retriever, was perfect in all ways except for her congenital absence of common sense; a malady that would manifest in her going on aimless walk a-bouts when the opportunity presented it self.  (Once into mud filled retention pond to snack on some duck poop.)

Sometime ago after my son’s had numerous kids over to challenge my homeowners policy for an afternoon on the trampoline, the gate to the yard was left open after all the friends dispersed.  Her absence went unnoticed until my own family gathered for dinner.

Neighbors were recruited and a massive search was initiated through the subdivision.  Teams started on the fringes and were instructed to circle back into the central starting point.  Special focus was given to any area that had a collection of people; a strong attraction for Nokomis.  Where there are people, there is food.

As the sun set there were sad faces at the prospect of the dog not being found and her spending the night in harms way. My son’s were beside themselves with grief.  Four hours of looking passed and still no dog.  We surrendered to the night and the heartache that something tragic had occurred.  Upon return to the house I noticed that the light on the answering machine (remember those) was flashing, so naturally I picked up the messages.

There were three messages; all from the microchip company that I had forgotten I had used to tag the dog.  The joy returned to my boy’s faces when they learned that someone had found Nokomis.

For the record, she was five houses away from her own home.  Nokomis had gone missing … just three hundred yards from her home port; sitting in some guy’s man cave on a sofa, crunching Milk Bone biscuits in between naps. Her new friend, a Yellow Lab, sat beside her.  In hind sight I realized my dog probably heard us earlier as we passed on the street just outside the garage calling her name. Maybe dog treats makes ‘em deaf, I don’t know. The unknown neighbor reported Nokomis was a wonderful guest and she was welcome anytime.

We smile now, but think often of all the dangers she could have been faced with that night she went missing.  Most pets would experience the anxiety that we felt that if they became lost or separated from the ones that they come to depend on and love.

Do you really need a microchip for your dog or cat?

Absolutely.  Ask your Veterinarian today because that microchip could help you find ‘em fast, no matter how far they had wandered. That’s a beautiful thing.

The cost?

It doesn’t matter; you’re buying peace of mind.  Just ask my sons.

Thank you to the Kern’s Family for allowing Bella to show that having your microchip scanned is very easy and quick!



  1. As you know, all of my dogs are microchipped. But what do you do when the new vet you take your animal to does not have the correct reader to read the chip? Then it appears that the pup has no chip. If the dog is lost and then found by someone other than the owner, it would appear that the dog is a stray and might end up in a shelter or worse. Why are there not universal readers? Or if there are, why don’t all vets have one. Case in point, I just took my dogs to have their nails clipped at the local vet in Custer, SD. The newest member of our pack had his microchip inserted while he was in the Artesia, NM shelter. The chip is registered with AKC. Due to some clerical error, his chip number online is different than the number I have in his records. The vet here cannot read his chip because she doesn’t have the right reader. If he came in as a stray he would be taken to a shelter, where I hope they would have the right reader, but maybe not. Any thoughts on this matter AMC?


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