Pets can get lost no matter how responsible an owner you are. Doors can be accidentally left open, houses can be burgled, cats do roam and are sometimes picked up as strays. Collars and tags are an ideal first line of identity, but these can very easily be lost.
Microchips were launched in 1989 as a novel way of identifying animals. They cannot be lost or easily tampered with once implanted and are easily read with a small handheld device. The chip is quick and easy to implant, normally into the skin of the back of the neck (between the shoulder blades) in dogs and cats.
What Is A Microchip?
Microchipping is a permanent way of identifying your pet and gives the best chance of them being reunited with you should they become lost.
A microchip is a tiny radiochip (about the size of a grain of rice), which is easily implanted by a needle under your pet’s skin between their shoulder blades. Each chip and therefore every animal which is chipped has a unique identification number which is linked to their contact details on a central computer database.
All the personal details associated with the chip are kept securely and only passed on to registered premises e.g. vets, rescue societies.
Microchipping Of All Dogs In England
On 6 February 2013 the government announced it will be introducing legislation to make microchipping of all dogs compulsory in England from 6 April 2016. From that date owners will need to:
- Have their dog microchipped and registered on one of the authorised commercial databases available
- Register the details of any new owner before they sell or give the dog away
- Keep their contact details up-to-date on the microchip databases
Microchipping Your Pet & The Law
All puppies must be microchipped by 8 weeks of age by law, and definitely before they leave their breeder.
Microchip details of a puppy should be registered under the details of the breeder as the first keeper, and updated by the owner once they bring the puppy home (this can be done free of charge in this instance). Owners are then responsible for keeping details up to date should their address or phone number change. Failure to comply with this could result in a fine of up to £500.
Any stray animal being brought into our practices or Pride Veterinary Centre are automatically scanned for a chip, if one is found we contact the central database to obtain the owners details and it is always a pleasure to be able to reunite lost pets.
If you are also planning to travel with your pets, microchipping is a vital part of the PETS travel scheme.
Which Pets Can Be Microchipped?
It’s not just dogs and cats that can be microchipped. Other species such as rabbits, birds and tortoises can also be chipped.
At Scarsdale Vets we encourage as many pets to be microchipped as possible as an aim to try and avoid heartache when pets go missing and give the best opportunity of them being reunited and back to the safety of their own home.
Don't forget! A FREE microchip is included as part of membership for VIP Club members!