Dear Daisy Dog
I read an article about microchips causing sarcomas, a type of cancer, in mice. I had planned to have my veterinarian microchip my puppy when she’s spayed. Should I skip the chip?
No. Go ahead and have your pup microchipped.
I am permanently identified with a microchip, so if I’m ever lost, the shelter or animal hospital that scans my chip can find my family’s phone number and address through the national microchip registry.
An added benefit is that in Pennsylvania, where I live, a microchipped dog qualifies for lifetime registration, instead of the usual annual registration.
All the dogs and cats in my family are microchipped, and the dog that will join our family this week will be chipped within days.
Mom isn’t worried about the microchip causing cancer.
That’s in part because the mice in the study you mention were purpose-bred to be vulnerable to cancer. Dogs and cats have greater genetic diversity, so they don’t develop cancer as readily.
Furthermore, in England, where over three million pets have been microchipped during the past ten years, only two tumors have been reported in association with the chips.
The published veterinary literature contains only one report of a sarcoma at a dog’s microchip site.
Clearly, the more likely risk is that your dog will sneak out when a door is left ajar, get loose while you’re traveling with her, or bolt from your home during a fire or flood.
Millions of pets are lost every year. If your dog is microchipped, you are much more likely to be reunited.