It's December . . . have your dogs seen the vet this year? If not, it's time to schedule an annual checkup. In addition to updating your dog's required vaccinations, listening to his or her heart and lungs, checking eyes, ears, and mouths, the veterinarian should also be breaking out this cool device.
This is a chip scanner and all vet offices should have at least one on hand. When your dog is microchipped, the veterinarian who inserted the chip should have checked your dog for an existing chip before hand. Ideally your dog should only be chipped once. If you do have to "double chip" your dog for some reason, make sure that BOTH numbers are registered.
Registering your chip (or chips) is very important. When someone finds a lost dog, they often take them to the nearest veterinarian--especially if they have a dog themselves. Out comes the magic scanner! If the dog is chipped, the vet calls the number in and--if the chip is registered--the owner is contacted and there's a happy reunion that bypasses a visit to the animal shelter.
The reason the chip should be checked before it is inserted is that chips are not perfect. Sometimes they don't work because they are defective. And sometimes they fail. The chip that is supposed to reunite you and your dog if you're ever separated will only work . . . if it works.
So please, take your dog in for their annual checkup and remind your vet to CHECK THE CHIP. Your dog should never leave home without it!