I strongly recommend that all my clients microchip their pets. For what it is worth, it is so inexpensive, yet it works so well. It costs roughly $30 – $40 at most vet clinics and comes with a registration for the lifetime of the pet. It is quick and relatively painless, about like getting a shot.
How it works: A microchip transponder is placed in a needle and injected just under the pets skin on the back between the shoulder blades. The device, just about the size of a grain of rice sits dormant until it is pinged with the scanner device. The scanner reads a number from the transponder. This number can then be called into a toll-free national database (staffed 24/7). The service then immediatley connects the lost dog with the owner.
The chip does a number of things; first, it helps quickly return a lost pet to the owner. Many police officers and sheriffs carry the scanners in their cars, and all shelters and vet centers have them. Further, it is policy in most all animal shelters to scan pets when they first come in, and again before any disposition (placement or euthanasia) of the animal. What’s more, in some shelters, if a dog is microchipped, they will often waive any fines or fees associated with picking up your pet, if they are microchipped. Finally, the microchip can help prove the ownership of the dog if ownership is in question.
All this is well worth $40 over the lifetime of your dog.