Thousands of pets go missing every year and if they have been microchipped the chance of being reunited with their owners is so much greater. Microchipping is quick, easy and painless. It just takes seconds and your pet's details are then held permanently on a national database that is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Remember to keep your contact details up to date on the national database.
It’s advisable to microchip kittens even if they are going to be indoor cats. It's not unusual for an indoor cat to escape through an open door or window.
IT IS A LEGAL REQUIREMENT FOR ALL DOGS TO BE MICROCHIPPED.
Dog owners can be fined up to £500 if their dog isn't microchipped by 8 weeks of age, or if their dog's records are not kept up to date. To check your dog's details visit the Petlog Database.
How big are the microchips and how are they implanted?
Microchips are about the size of a small thin grain of rice and are implanted into the 'scruff' of the neck of the pet in the same way that a vaccination is given. Usually this is a pain-free procedure and in young puppies and kittens is forgotten in an instant. In some instances there is occasionally a mild stinging sensation which soon passes. This is most likely if the pet is wriggling around or is very thin skinned as in for example greyhounds and whippets. If this is a concern then an ideal solution is to microchip the pet when they are asleep for a surgical procedure such as neutering.
After implanting the chip the dog or cat's own tissue surrounds it and prevents it moving around. The chip should not be 'rejected' as it is encased in bio-compatible glass similar to that used in pacemakers.
Benefits of microchipping
If your pet goes missing and is found and taken to a police station; veterinary surgery; a rescue home or cat or dog home, assuming it has a microchip it will be read and you will be contacted directly and reunited with your missing pet.
If your pet hasn’t been microchipped then unfortunately the chances of a safe return to you is reduced sadly as collars and other identifying tags are easily lost or become impossible to read over time.
How long does the microchip last for?
The microchips themselves have a life span that will easily be longer than that of a pet as long as it is not damaged. This is because there are no moving parts or batteries to wear out, as when it is read the scanner itself supplies the power for the chip in the form of radio waves.
The chips are so small and tough that it is extremely unlikely that they would ever become damaged. However, very occasionally damage can occur if a dog or cat has had trauma to the scruff region such as a bite or a blow to the back of the neck. If your pet has been involved in an accident and you are in any doubt about whether or not the microchip is still working please bring your pet to the surgery where your vet or vet nurse will check this for you.
How are the microchips read?
The chip itself can be read entirely painlessly by a scanner device that is passed over the animal and registers the chip’s unique identification number. This number is held on a national database along with your contact details including telephone number and address.
It is estimated that over 10,000 scanner devices are currently being used in the United Kingdom.