Dr. Sara

HA! Faculty
Dec 30, 2018
It depends on who you talk to!
My first Berner bitch had to be microchipped, as she was a Canadian import. Since then, I have not chipped my animals. You need to consider if the benefits of chipping are sufficient to outweigh the possible risks for your pup.

There have been instances of chips migrating under the skin; just the other day we found one under the neck with our scanner! This is not a big deal, but one can't be certain that the pound would be as persistent as we were in searching for the chip.

There have been instances of infection from poorly inserted chips. This is not that common, and my practice has never had a problem.

There is the possibility of foreign body reactions to the chip, and there have been some instances where tumours have developed close to the chip. These are again, quite rare, and I think I have seen 1 foreign body reaction, and 1 tumour. Other vets report seeing more of these.

I elected not to chip my bitches because:
1 - They don't leave the house without me. We have a sitter come to care for them in a securely locked yard.
2 - The girls wear identification tags 24 / 7 on safety collars.
3 - Berners are more prone to cancer than they are to wandering off, though theft is a possibility and concern.

Microchipping has returned many animals to their owners, so it can certainly be of benefit. It is one of those decisions where you need to consider what is right for your situation!


Aug 29, 2017
I grappled with this decision. Thankfully Dr. Jeff recommended that I not microchip, and I listened. It is not as perfect a solution as it might seem. Besides everything Dr. Sara said, It is far better to rely on a tag. I'm on "Next Door" which is great for locating lost pets and coyote sightings. The added benefit of a tag is if a person finds your dog they can contact you. Thus avoiding the pet having to be taken to the pound. So many dogs end up there when lost and then have to spend the day or worse waiting to be retrieved . The latest issue of Dogs Naturally magazine has an article by Dr. Tamara Hebbler on whether or not to Microchip. Actually the whole issue is devoted to puppies!


Nov 13, 2017
I'm not keen on chipping. Actually, I am highly cautious of inserting anything into bodies; I've rejected implants myself. My first (show) dog was tattooed. I meant to do my next two, but never found anyone close to do them. I showed them both for a couple of years without any notice by the promoters. I keep my dogs close, on lead, and in secure yards, safe neighborhood, and crated indoors if left. I feel that foreign bodies always create a stress in the body, and may influence symptoms to develop that may seem unrelated. I also don't like spurious EMF radiating from them. Just me, not paranoid if they're really after me.

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