Microchipping: what is it & why is it important

MicrochippingWhat is Microchipping?

Microchipping is a simple safe and quick procedure. It can make all the difference in being reunited with your pet should they stray or go missing.

The microchip is the size of a grain of rice and the procedure, which can be carried out by a vet or trained implanter, takes only a few minutes and lasts a lifetime.

Why Microchip?

As well as ensuring your pet is wearing an identification tag, we strongly recommend a microchip (with up to date contact details) to increase the chances of being reunited should your dog go missing. Unlike a collar that may break or a tag that might fall off, microchipping offers a permanent method of identification, so you can be safe in the knowledge that you have done everything in your power to ensure that if your pet strays and is found without a collar and tag, they can scanned, identified and returned home safely.

How does it work?

The microchip is a small device about the size of a grain of rice that contains an exclusive number which the owner's details are connected to and stored in a database. It is inserted under the skin during a quick and simple procedure, much like an injection.

When a missing pet is found, an authorised user (such as a vet or dog warden) will scan the pet revealing the microchip’s unique 15 digit code, and contact the microchip database providing the aftercare service. The database will perform some security checks before releasing your contact details to the authorised user – so that your pet can be reunited with you.

There are a number of database suppliers, so please check with your vet/implanter which microchips they use and which database aftercare service they are aligned to. If you are unsure of which database your pet is registered with, a quick search list of Microchip suppliers is available online at www.petlog.org.uk.

You should always call the microchip database where your contact details are held to notify them that your pet has gone missing. The microchip database should send out alerts to local vets and dog wardens on your behalf.

Can my pet be microchipped?

It is possible for most pets to be implanted with a microchip. In just a few minutes, dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and rabbits can be microchipped. In addition, although the procedure is more complicated, pets such as birds and reptiles can also be microchipped, however this is a less simple procedure and may involve sedation.

Where can I get my pet microchipped?

Most vets, welfare centres and training clubs offer a microchipping service. Be sure to question what database your microchip will be registered with – as this may affect your aftercare service. For more information on where to get your pet chipped visit www.petlog.org.uk or call 0844 4633 999.

What does it cost?

Costs vary so check with your local vet, welfare centre and in the case of young puppies, your breeder. Costs average between £10 and £30. Microchipping is a one-off process and lasts for life.

If you are interested in getting your pet microchipped please contact your local veterinary surgeon.