We chip all our puppies about a week before they go to their forever homes, at the same time they are getting their check-up. When we had our first dog chipped, she let out a scream I don't ever want to hear again (that's a BIG needle). So now we have the vet do just a little local anesthetic before chipping the pups. For us, the cost is included in the puppy cost, as we feel microchipping is very important and we want to be sure it gets done.