How much does it cost to microchip a dog?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to microchip a dog?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to microchip a dog?

$20 – $60average cost to microchip a dog

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$20 – $60 average cost to microchip a dog


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Tara Farmer
Written by
Tara Farmer
Edited by
Jennifer Carlson
Fact-checked by
Kristen Cramer

Average cost to microchip a dog

The average cost to microchip a dog is $40, with most dog owners spending between $20 to $60 total for the microchip itself and the implantation procedure. In some cases, the cost of microchipping a dog includes registration, while in other cases, updating the microchip with your contact information costs extra.

Average cost to have a dog microchipped
National Average Cost $40
Minimum Cost $0
Maximum Cost $110
Average Range $20 to $60

  • Research shows having your dog microchipped can significantly increase the chances of being reunited if they ever go missing. 1 in 3 pets go missing at least once during their lifetime.

  • Only 15% of lost dogs without a microchip or identification are reunited with their owners.

  • Before traveling out of the country with your dog, confirm their microchip is ISO compliant so that it will be detectable by scanners abroad if needed.

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What is a microchip for dogs?

A microchip for dogs is a tiny transponder device implanted under the dog's skin, typically between the shoulder blades. A scanner reads the microchip’s unique identification number, allowing vets and shelter staff to identify the dog and retrieve the owner's contact information from a microchip registry database.

  • Pet microchips are as small as a grain of rice, and the implantation procedure is simple and safe, requiring no local anesthetic. The vet typically implants the microchip using a thin needle like those used for vaccinations.

  • It's crucial to keep your contact information up to date with the microchip registration company. If your dog goes missing and someone finds them, the microchip will only be effective in reuniting you with your pet if the contact information on file is accurate.

Factors that impact the cost to microchip a dog

While the cost of microchipping a dog is relatively affordable and age, breed, and weight do not impact the cost, there are still several factors that can influence the final price, including:

  • Location: The cost of microchipping varies depending on the local cost of living.

  • Clinic type: Different veterinary clinics may charge varying fees for microchipping services. A non-profit organization typically charges less than a private veterinary practice.

  • Registration: The microchip implantation cost sometimes includes registration, but not always. When you adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue organization, they often include microchipping in the adoption fee, but you may still need to pay to update the microchip with your information.

  • Exam fee: Depending on where you go, the microchip procedure cost may or may not include an exam fee. A typical vet visit costs $40 to $80 for the office visit and physical exam.

  • Discounts: Many clinics offer a discount on microchipping at various times throughout the year, like on August 15, which is National Check the Chip Day, or during hurricane season in high-risk areas.

  • Additional services: Some clinics may bundle microchipping with other services, such as vaccinations or checkups, which can impact the overall cost.

Does pet insurance cover microchipping for dogs?

While most basic pet insurance policies don’t cover the cost of microchipping, many companies recognize its importance and offer add-on coverage for this procedure and other preventative care costs. Review your plan carefully or consult with your provider to determine if it covers microchipping and to what extent.

Pet insurance costs $35 to $75 per month on average for an accident-and-illness plan for dogs. Add $10 to $25+ to the monthly premium if you add wellness coverage.

A veterinarian checking the microchip implant in a dog
A veterinarian checking the microchip implant in a dog

FAQs about microchipping a dog

How do I know if a dog is microchipped?

To check if a dog is microchipped, take them to a shelter, vet’s office, or a pet store with a microchip scanner. These scanners can detect a microchip and display its unique ID number which the staff can use to access the owner’s contact information from an online registry.

There are several microchip registration databases. The American Animal Hospital Association's online lookup tool searches multiple registries to find where a pet’s microchip information is located.

Does microchipping hurt a dog?

The microchipping procedure is generally considered minimally invasive and relatively painless for dogs. The microchip is implanted using a specialized syringe, and most dogs experience only a brief moment of discomfort like they may have during a routine vaccination.

Does a dog with a collar and tag need a microchip?

Yes, even if your dog wears a collar and tag, microchipping is still recommended. Collars and tags can fall off or become illegible, but a microchip provides a permanent form of identification that cannot be lost or removed.

Can you feel a microchip in a dog?

While it is possible to feel the microchip under the dog's skin, it is typically not noticeable unless you are specifically looking for it. The microchip is small and unobtrusive, causing no discomfort for the dog.

Can you track your dog with a microchip?

No, microchips do not have GPS tracking capabilities. They are designed solely for identification purposes, so you cannot use them to track your dog's location. Consider investing in a separate GPS tracking collar or device if you’re interested in tracking your dog’s whereabouts.

At what age can a dog be microchipped?

Most veterinarians recommend microchipping dogs as early as 8 weeks of age. However, some may suggest waiting until the dog is a little older, around 12 weeks, to ensure the microchip is implanted correctly and doesn't migrate from the initial implantation site.

How long does a microchip last in a dog?

Microchips are designed to last for the lifetime of your dog. These tiny transponders are made of biocompatible materials that do not require any maintenance or replacement. As long as the microchip remains in place, it should continue to function properly for the duration of your dog's life.

Does a dog have to be microchipped?

While the UK requires all dogs to be microchipped, there are no federal laws in the United States requiring it. However, state and city regulations vary. Hawaii was the first state to mandate owners to microchip their dogs in 2021, and several cities across the US now require the same.

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Check your state laws and local ordinances for the most up to date microchip requirements.

Questions to ask when having your dog microchipped

Microchipping your dog is a small investment that can significantly increase the chances of being reunited with your furry companion if they ever go missing. Ask your veterinarian these important questions when scheduling your dog's microchipping appointment:

  • What type of microchip will you use, and is it ISO compliant?

  • Does the microchipping fee include registration?

  • Do you register the microchip with my contact information, or do I need to do that myself once it’s implanted?

  • Will you scan the microchip after the procedure to ensure it is functioning correctly?

  • What aftercare instructions should I follow to prevent any complications?

  • How can I update the contact information for the microchip if it changes in the future?


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