HomeHealth & FitnessChipping the dog: more security at home and abroad

Chipping the dog: more security at home and abroad

What does it actually mean when you have your dog chipped? Are there any advantages or disadvantages of chipping the dog? First of all, the good news: A dog chip is a small microchip that dog sport agility is implanted under the dog’s skin without anesthesia and does not hinder the dog. It ensures that your dog is safely marked for life and can be better found worldwide. Read here what you have to keep in mind so that nothing goes wrong during stays abroad and a possible loss of your dog!

How does a chip work in dogs?

A chip is a transponder with the official name “RFID microchip”. It is about 2 mm wide and 12 mm long and thus comparable to a bowl of long grain rice. Some veterinarians offer a correspondingly smaller chip for small dogs. The chip is inserted under the animal’s skin exclusively by veterinarians.

The microchip is made of a special tissue-friendly and non-allergenic material that is intended to fuse with the surrounding body tissue. This process guarantees that the chip cannot reach any underlying skin layers. In dogs, the transponder is introduced worldwide in a standardized way on the left side of the neck.

The transponder is inactive, which means that it does not radiate and transmit and has no energy sources. Its activation only takes place at the moment when a reader is held close to it and sends a pulse to it. A microchip can therefore not be located via GPS, satellites or other direction-finding devices!

The chip is encoded with a 15-digit number that can be scanned and decoded with a special reader. Such a reader is freely available for sale and is used by animal shelters, animal practices, animal organizations, police, and customs.

The following information is read out of the chip:

  • Country of origin of the dog
  • Microchip number/personalized identification number of the dog (unique worldwide)

Manufacturer of the microchip

To implant the chip, the veterinarian uses a syringe-like device with a thick hollow needle, with the help of which the chip is inserted under the dog’s skin. The pure implantation process takes only a few seconds and is carried out without anesthesia. How much the procedure hurts your dog depends primarily on your pet’s individual pain sensation but is usually compared to the sting of a vaccination.

It is best to have your dog chipped at puppy age, when skin and coat are still elastic and thin, and combine it with the first rabies vaccination, for example. The date of implantation and the microchip number including a barcode must be carefully entered into the EU pet passport at a designated location.

Important: Don’t forget to register!

In order for the chip to be useful for finding your dog, you must register the microchip number (also called transponder number) with a specialized organization. Deutscher Tierschutzbund with FINDEFIX and Tasso e.V. offer a free registration online, IFTA is a fee-based organization with a very extensive identification and repatriation program, including tracking.

Necessary data when registering the chip are:

Transponder/chip number (from your dog’s pet passport)

Information about the dog: animal species/breed, nickname, gender, date of birth, colour

Name, address, current telephone number, if necessary email address of the dog owner

Second contact address/telephone number

You can supplement this information with additional information, such as special license plates of the dog. Remember to keep your contact details up to date!

The online platforms of the animal welfare organisations have separate forms for this. Without this registration, the chip remains anonymous and cannot be assigned to you. By the way: On the pages of the mentioned animal welfare organizations you can also search for a missing animal or report a found animal.

Why you should have your dog chipped

Legal obligation for the chip only exists in Germany if your dog reaches a certain size or belongs to certain dog breeds that are listed on the so-called “breed list”. Whether the chipping of the dog is necessary or not, the federal states regulate. Find out more at the city administration responsible for you.

If you buy your dog from the breeder, the puppy is usually already chipped. This is due to the fact that breeders’ associations make chipping a breeding requirement. If you would like to take your dog on a holiday trip to other European countries or overseas at some point, then it is required by law that the dog is chipped in upon entry and the chip number is entered in the EU pet passport.

For more information, read Fressnapf’s guide to entry requirements for dogs in EU countries.

But the chip also offers some other advantages for dog and owner:

Once your dog is lost, it can be clearly identified and returned based on the chip. The necessary requirement is that you have registered the chip with a special organization (see above).

If you have purchased a dog from people of dubious appearance and/or abroad, then you should definitely visit a veterinarian (animal welfare organization, animal shelter) who will read the chip (if available).

A small disadvantage of this method is that dental care for rat terrier you need a reader to read the microchip. This is the only way for the dog’s finder to find out the specific chip number (transponder number) and notify the registered dog owner via an animal welfare organization.

Tip: Have a dog badge sent to you by your registration organization, which your dog will then wear on the harness. So the dog finder knows where the chip number is registered.

Chipping dogs: the cost

The price for the chip varies depending on the manufacturer and is between 30 and 60 euros. It is based on the chip size and its technical quality. This means that the smaller and more innovative the model, the more expensive it is. The insertion of the chip is charged according to the fee schedule for veterinarians with about 10 euros.



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