As with any procedure, side effects can occur. Although exceedingly rare, the British Small Animal Veterinary Association has logged 391 adverse reactions to microchipping out of more than 4 million cases. 

Microchip dog side effects include:

  • Pain

The pain associated with microchipping is minimal and is considered no worse than a vaccination or blood draw.  A local anesthetic can be used to minimize the pain, or microchipping can be performed while the dog is already under anesthesia, such as for neuter surgery.  

  • Microchip Migration 

The most commonly reported side effect of microchipping is migration.  Since the microchip is injected under the skin, it can potentially move anywhere along the dog’s body, such as leg or tail. 

  • Hair Loss

In rare cases, hair loss at the injection site was reported. 

  • Infection

As with any invasive procedure, the infection can occur.  However, microchipping in a sterile environment with all necessary precautions will minimize this risk. 

  • Swelling

Another potential microchip dog side effect is swelling at the injection site. 

  • Microchip Failure

While rare, microchips may sometimes fail.  For this reason, it is important to have your dog’s microchip periodically checked to ensure it is still in working order. 

  • Tumor Formation

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, tumors in two cats and two dogs have been reported with potential links to microchips.  

Is it Safe to Microchip My Dog?

Although side effects can occur, it is important to note that the instances of adverse reactions are excessively rare – less than .01%.  Microchipping is, therefore, an extremely safe way to provide your dog a permanent form of identification. 

Are you looking for more in-depth data on the side effects of microchipping? You can find additional info in the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) study – Microchipping of Animals.