One of the best ways to increase your chances of reuniting with your dog if they get lost is to make sure your pet has a registered microchip. Microchipping is primarily designed to provide an effective means of reuniting owners with pets that have been separated from their owners. Also, with the recent relaxation of quarantine regulation, microchipping is mandatory for positive identification if you wish to travel abroad with your dog and to return without having to undergo quarantine.
What is a microchip and how is it inserted?
A microchip is about the size of a small grain of rice. Each chip carries a unique 15 digit number which can be ‘read’ by a special scanner which all vets, dog pounds and animal sanctuaries will have.
With sterile precautions the chip is injected under the skin at the base of the neck. This is done by your vet and only takes an instant – for your pet it will feel much the same as having a vaccination injection. It can be done at a specific appointment but we also often do it when your pet comes in for their annual health assessment & vaccination or when they are being neutered.
How does the system work?
After we insert the microchip its details and your contact details are registered on a central database. This can be done online or by mail. For example see Home Again which is the main database in the United States and the one we use. It is sensible to ensure permanent identification of your pet and the best and easiest way to do this is to have your pet microchipped.
Microchipping is primarily designed to provide an effective means of reuniting owners with pets that have strayed. Also, with the recent relaxation of quarantine regulation, microchipping is mandatory for positive identification if you wish to travel abroad with your dog and to return without having to undergo quarantine.
How much does it cost?
Not as much as you may think – around the same price as a consultation fee and we do it for a reduced rate if being done at the same time as neutering or a visit for vaccinations or another problem. The registration on the database is included with this and there is no annual fee payable for continued registration. Details can be changed on the database free of charge – for example if you change your mobile number or home address.
My puppy was microchipped before I bought him - do I need to do anything?
The chip itself will work perfectly well but because it was the breeder that did (or possibly didn’t do!) all the necessary paperwork there is often a problem in that the chip is not registered to you, the pup’s new owner. As a result if your dog strays and is brought to a dog pound or vet they will not be able to track down the owner of the dog via the microchip number – the microchip is basically useless as it means nothing.
So if you have a dog that was microchipped before you bought him it important to ensure that the microchip is correctly registered to you. We can check this for you and if the information is incorrect this can be corrected by e-mail. If the chip is not registered at all you can purchase a registration pack for Home Again.