Microchip Your Beagle: A Quick Guide
If you were to ask people even 5 to 10 years ago, the thoughts of having a microchip placed into your beagle would have conjured images of a cyborg-looking dog seemingly well-fit for Star Trek.
Today, it easy to realize just how incredibly valuable they truly are. They have become much more commonplace for beagle owners to opt-in to having a microchip inserted into your beagle. Therefore if they ever go rogue, you’ll be much more likely to be able to track them down.
What’s so incredible about a beagle with a microchip, is that it’s virtually undetectable without a scanning tool, as it’s roughly the same size as a grain of rice.
What Is A Microchip?
A microchip is a tiny glass cylinder containing a very small electronic chip. They contain an identification number, that is transmitted from the chip to an identification scanner when it is passed over or near the area where the chip is inserted. No battery is needed for it to work properly, as it only transmits the number activated by the scanner.
It’s essentially like one of those transponders you place into your car windshield, for driving through toll plazas. Same concept.
One thing that a microchip is not is a GPS device. GPS devices and microchips aren’t substitutes for each other; they’re complementary, and each is useful to locate a lost dog in different ways. A GPS may tell you where your dog is, but it can’t provide your contact information to those nearby that would help return him home. It also requires batteries and can be lost, like a collar or tags. Microchips, because they’re inserted into a dog’s skin, are permanent. While they can’t guide you to your dog’s location, they provide a way for you to be contacted, by almost any veterinarian or shelter, if your pup is brought in.
Get it? Got it. Good.
How Are Microchips Implanted?
If you are thinking that microchip implantation is painful or distressing for your beagle, I can assure it’s not for most pets.
It’s inserted typically by your veterinarian or veterinary nurse. They pinch the skin between your pup’s shoulder blades, and while using a needle; insert the chip. Most dogs are unfazed by this procedure, as it is minimally time-invasive.
What Are The Benefits Of Microchipping?
Microchipping is a permanent and secure means to ensure that they can be readily identified. Of course — you should always have tags and other similar identification methods for your beagle, but it’s no comparison to something that is not readily removed by other people, or something that your dog can damage themselves through activity.
It should provide peace of mind knowing that even in the unlikely event that your beagle goes rogue, you’ll likely be reunited with them.
Amazing fact: There are some documented cases where some dogs have gone missing during natural disasters, and have been reunited with their owners years after the event. That is simply incredible.
What Is The Cost Of Microchipping?
In most veterinary clinics, the typical cost ranges from $25-$50. That being said, there are no ongoing costs.
Keep It Up-To-Date
Just like anything else — if you move or change your phone number, you will have to update anything that requires it the updated details. This will include the company that manages the contact information for the microchip. How bad would it be if you think you’re ahead of the curve, only to realize that the information that is currently on your microchip’s database is information that’s no longer applicable.
It’s important to realize that the veterinarian and the microchip company aren’t likely linked whatsoever. So just because you updated information with your veterinarian, assume the microchip company has not been provided the same information. Typically, a small fee is charged to update your details (usually $30 or less). For peace of mind, that is a no-lose situation.
If you’re adopting a dog from a charity, ask for a scan to ensure that they are or are not chipped. If they are, you’ll need to ensure that your details are updated onto your beagle’s microchip. When they scan your beagle, they’ll provide you the chip number. Use that information to reach out to a microchip management company.
Databases Where Microchips Be Found
There are many databases, and some even participate in universal databases that veterinarians and animal shelters can access. With these databases, you can look up a pet’s ID, report a pet lost, report a pet found, etc.
Here are some registries that take part in the lookup tool:
Do You Need To Buy A Scanner If My Beagle Is Microchipped?
Honestly, no. There simply is no need to purchase a scanner, as you’ll have no need to scan your beagle. Need the microchip info? Stop by the vet’s office and have them do a quick scan. It’ll be literally seconds out of your day, and save you the cost of purchasing a scanner that you’ll hardly ever use.
Now that being said: if you deal with dogs in an occupational capacity, such as a trainer, dog walker, groomer; you may consider investing in a scanner to provide peace of mind. Most range from $35 to $50.
Are There Any Risks Involved In Microchipping?
In all sincerity, the risks of implanting a microchip into your beagle are so minuscule, that unless there are unique circumstances that add complexity to your dog’s health, your veterinarian will generally state that the benefits far outweigh any risks associated. Some very small risks would be infection or swelling at the injection site or failure of the microchip. Fortunately, your vet will often check the functionality of the microchip before and after insertion. Therefore, the likelihood of it not transmitting is slim-to-none.
Do I Still Need A Dog Tag And Collar?
Of course, you do. Most people don’t have a scanner to their avail. Having up-to-date tags and collars ensures that anyone who locates your beagle can reach out to you directly in a much more efficient manner. The microchip is meant to be adjunctive to your dog’s tags and collars. Ensuring that your beagle has its proper tags and collars, is not only logical; but in most places, it’s can be a legal requirement. That being said:
What Do The Laws Say About Microchipping In The U.S.?
At this time [September 2019], microchipping of pets and other animals is voluntary in the U.S. except for some legislation mandating microchipping as a means of identifying animals who have been identified as being dangerous.
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