Will Microchipping Hurt My Dog?

Ugh, needles 😬

do microchips hurt dogs

You know how important it is to get your dog microchipped, but since it involves having a device implanted under his skin, you might be wondering if the process will hurt him at all.

A needle is used to microchip your dog, so it’s not completely painless. But the good news is any discomfort shouldn’t be too intense for your pup to handle.

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Linda Simon, a veterinary surgeon and veterinary consultant for Five Barks, to find out just how much the microchipping process might hurt your dog.

What is a microchip for dogs?

A microchip for dogs is an implantable, scannable device that’s essentially like an ID tag that’s under your dog’s skin instead of around his neck.

“A microchip is a small chip the size of a grain of rice,” Dr. Simon told The Dodo.

Once it’s registered, your pup’s microchip will be assigned a unique number that can be associated with your contact information — like your address or phone number — in the event that your pup goes missing.

“Your dog will be the only animal in the world linked to this number,” Dr. Simon said. “The number can be inputted into an online database and will be linked to an owner’s contact details.”

Does microchipping hurt dogs?

Microchipping involves using a needle to implant the device under your dog’s skin, so it’s not going to be entirely painless.

That being said, it shouldn’t hurt your pup very much or for very long.

“It is similar to getting a piercing on a human,” Dr. Simon said. “There is a short, sharp pain, and then it is all done.”

If your dog’s really young or sensitive to pain, you could always ask the administrator for a numbing agent.

“Sometimes in small puppies, numbing cream is applied first, but this can take 20 to 30 minutes to kick in,” Dr. Simon said.

While microchipping your dog will involve a little prick, it isn’t an intense procedure that requires sedatives.

“Microchipping is a simple procedure that requires no anaesthetic or sedation,” Dr. Simon said.

Where are dogs microchipped?

When dogs get microchipped, the device is usually implanted between their shoulder blades. To access this area, the professional implanting the chip will lift the scruff of your pup’s neck.

Having a standard injection site is important because then vets and rescue workers will know where to scan your pup.

How do dog microchips work?

When your dog’s microchip gets scanned, your pup’s unique number will pop up on the reader. With that number, whoever scanned your dog can look up your contact information through the microchip database.

That’s why you should reach out to shelters, rescues and nearby veterinarians if you lose your dog — they should be able to scan pups for microchips.

If your dog does feel a tiny sting when he gets microchipped, it won’t hurt for too long. And your pup would probably agree that a tiny prick is worth it, since the microchip would help reunite you guys if you ever get separated.

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