Microchipping Your Golden Retriever (What You Need to Know)

Microchipping any dog is a good idea because whether you have a chihuahua or a golden retriever, getting your dog microchipped will provide numerous benefits. But what do you need to know when it comes to placing a microchip in your golden retriever?

Microchipping a Golden Retriever involves inserting a small chip under the dog’s skin for around $20-$50. This chip contains information about the owner, such as their address and phone number. It allows a vet or shelter to scan the dog and be able to contact you to avoid your Golden being lost.

Continue reading to learn more details about the costs, benefits, and legal requirements of microchipping your golden retriever. We will also examine how a dog’s microchip is implanted and the potential negative side effects of the procedure.

Microchipping a Golden retriever will help you find him if he gets lost.

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How Much Does It Cost to Microchip a Golden Retriever?

The price of microchipping your golden retriever varies depending on each vet. However, the cost of microchipping is usually quite affordable.

It costs between $20 and $50 to microchip a Golden Retriever. This is a relatively minor procedure that a veterinary nurse may even perform. Your golden retriever will likely not require a follow-up visit after the process.

Many pet insurance policies cover microchipping. Some providers may even require you to microchip your pet before they offer coverage. So if you have an insurance policy for your dog, check with your provider before getting your golden retriever chipped.

How Are Microchips Implanted in Golden Retrievers?

Implanting a microchip is a relatively straightforward and painless experience for most golden retrievers. The implant takes only seconds to install, so it’s unlikely that your dog will be severely agitated by the process.

Microchips are implanted with a needle. The vet or trained professional will lift the skin between the dog’s shoulder blades and insert the needle with the implant inside. The needle is then removed, leaving the implant inside. The procedure is then complete.

Some dog owners get nervous when they see the needle as it is more significant in diameter than most needles. However, most dogs do not react to the needle going in.

If your dog is not a fan of the vet or is nervous by nature, you may want to offer them a calming and comforting presence to put them at ease during the process.

This will help your dog to relax and will also prevent them from lashing out in fear.

Once the vet has installed the microchip, it will last for the rest of your dog’s lifetime. The microchip may shift and move over time, but this is rare and should not cause significant concern.

What Is The Best Age to Microchip a Golden Retriever Puppy?

A golden retriever puppy can be microchipped anytime after about 6 weeks of age. Since a puppy should not be separated from its mother until 8 weeks of age, chances are that your new puppy will be old enough to be chipped when you pick it up.

If you’re buying your new pup from a quality breeder, you may find that when you pick up your golden retriever puppy that they have already been microchipped. In this case, the breeder will give you the paperwork and instructions on how to change the information in the chip database to your info.

Where Is Microchipping a Golden Retriever Legally Required?

Laws regarding microchipping vary significantly from country to country.

Microchipping a Golden Retriever is legally required in the UK, as they require all dogs over eight weeks old to be microchipped. Other countries in Europe have adopted similar policies in recent years. There are no laws that require you to microchip your dog in the United States.

No states or counties in the U.S. have introduced mandatory microchipping as of yet. However, some charities and organizations publicly support the introduction of laws requiring you to microchip your pets.

While there are no laws that require a dog to be microchipped in the US, there are nine states and the District of Columbia that have introduced a law requiring any animal shelter, pound, or animal control personnel to scan for microchips on all dogs that they find.

The following states and districts have introduced laws that require animal professionals to scan for microchips:

  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Georgia
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina

If your golden retriever escapes or gets lost in any of these states and districts, you can be confident that they will be returned to you safely and swiftly.

Can You Track Your Golden Retriever With a Microchip?

There is a common misconception that pet microchips can track your dog’s location if they are lost. This idea is based on the belief that there is a GPS tracker within the microchip. However, this is not the case.

You can not track your golden retriever with a microchip. Microchips work using radio frequency identification. These microchips have information stored on them and can only be read when scanned. But the microchip does not transmit a signal unless a microchip scanner is present.

Microchips use radio frequency identification or RFID as this technology does not require a power source. There is also nothing to wear out or replace.

As a result, a microchip will last for your golden retriever’s entire life after being installed.

If microchips were made using GPS technology, a power source and maintenance would be required. This would result in necessary follow-up procedures and more expensive vet bills for you. Therefore manufacturers settled on RFID as it lasts forever and needs no follow-up care.

Benefits of Microchipping a Golden Retriever

There are numerous benefits of microchipping your golden retriever. The following sections will outline a few of the pros of deciding to have your dog microchipped.

Permanent Identification

You can display identification on your dog with a collar and a tag.

However, collars become worn out and are prone to falling off. The information written on the label can be difficult to read after a few years, which can lead to issues identifying the owner of your dog if it escapes.

But, if your dog is microchipped, you will have a permanent source of identification inside the dog’s skin. Microchips will not break or get lost, which means that a microchipped dog has a much better chance of being found and returned to its rightful owner.

A microchipped golden retriever has a significantly better chance of being returned to its owner than a Golden that isn’t chipped.


One of the best advantages of microchipping your golden retriever is the price. Microchipping a dog can cost as little as $20, which makes the procedure accessible and affordable to most people.

Many insurance providers will pay for your pets to be microchipped. However, policies vary greatly depending on the company.

Contact your insurance company to find out if you are covered for the microchipping procedure.

Painless Procedure

The actual procedure of installing the microchip implant is straightforward and relatively painless, as the chip is inserted with a needle into your dog’s back.

The process is similar to getting your golden retriever vaccinated.

As the procedure does not hurt or injure your dog, they will be able to carry on as usual after the vet has finished. However, if there is a rare issue during the procedure, your dog may require additional care.

Potential Risks of Microchipping a Golden Retriever

Side effects are infrequent from microchipping a golden retriever. However, there are some risks associated with getting your dog microchipped, as with any medical procedure. Let’s talk about a few of the dangers of microchipping your golden retriever.

Implant Moving

One of the more common issues associated with microchipping is when the implant has moved within the dog. It usually does not travel very far, but the implant moving may be uncomfortable for your golden retriever.

An implant that has moved away from its initial location can be challenging to locate when scanning for the microchip. This can lead to your dog not being identified if they escape.

If the microchip has moved (you should be able to feel it under their skin) within your golden retriever, make an appointment with a vet to resolve the issue.

Microchip Failure

As with most technology, microchips are not 100% effective. Sometimes chips can fail and not effectively transmit or store the owner’s information, which can lead to the dog not being appropriately identified when found.

Swelling and Infection Near Injection Site

Anytime you have a scratch, cut, or wound on your skin, there is a risk of infection.

Your golden retriever is the same. After your dog has been microchipped, you may notice some minor swelling around the injection area. This is not a significant cause for concern, but you should seek the help of a vet if symptoms worsen or don’t go away.

Infection is also a risk after microchipping, as it can quickly become severe, so you should bring your dog to the vet if you find any signs of infection. However, the risk of infection is relatively low from microchipping as it is just a small initial hole in the skin.

While there are a few risks regarding microchipping, the pros far outweigh the cons. Issues and side effects are very low, so if one happens, you have been very unlucky.

Watch a dog get microchipped at the veterinarian.

Final Thoughts

Microchipping is an effective way of providing your golden retriever with lifelong identification. The microchip is implanted under the dog’s skin and contains the owner’s number, name, and address.

This information is then used to return a lost dog to its rightful owners.

It is a minor and affordable procedure that can provide you with some peace of mind if your golden retriever ever gets lost. As with any medical procedure, there are some minor risks involved however issues are few and far between and usually have quick and easy solutions.

Therefore it’s best if you decide to have your golden retriever microchipped.

Bryan Mullennix

Bryan's a freelance travel photographer and happy dog dad. He currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife, his son, and two dogs Nom Nom & Speck.

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