Microchipping for Dogs and Cats
Microchipping is a small procedure that inserts a minute microchip into your pet. The microchip is approximately the same size as a grain of rice and is a quick, safe and permanent procedure. The chip is placed just under the skin at the back of your pet’s neck, under their shoulder blades. The procedure causes little discomfort to your pet and usually can be done at the same time your pet is being neutered. A microchip only needs to be implanted once and your pet then has it for life!
Requirements for microchipping?
In the UK, you could face a fine of up to GBP £500 if your dog is not microchipped by the time it is 8 weeks old. Hong Kong also requires that all dogs are microchipped before they enter, and dogs resident over 5m old to be chipped.
There are different chips used in different countries.
For example, in Hong Kong if the microchip does not contain the HK type of AVID 9-digit number required by Hong Kong authorities then your dog will be re-chipped at the airport. This procedure is not required for cats, any type of microchip is ok.
Why is microchipping used?
Microchipping is a quick, safe and simple device/procedure that has successfully reunited thousands of pets with their owners. If your pet was to get lost or stolen, having it microchipped dramatically increases your chances of being able to find them again. If pets are found and taken to a local vet or animal shelter, they will be able to scan your pet’s chip and contact you.
Its used internationally as the surest way of identifying which pet is which and therefore helping correlate the documents with the microchip number and hence the pet.
How does microchipping work?
Your pet’s microchip will contain a unique number that is read on the microchip reader device.
It’s also (often, depending on country) held on a database along with your contact details. Whenever your pet is scanned, your details will appear. Therefore, it is vital that your contact details are kept up to date on the relevant national database in case your pet is lost or stolen. The database your pet is registered with should be alerted if your number, name or address are to change. This is the owner’s responsibility.
Additionally, if a pet’s owner changes the database will need to be updated. Microchipping is not a substitute for your pet wearing a collar and tags. These are prone to falling off but a microchip is permanent.
Who can microchip your pet?
Your local vet or someone chip trained will most likely be able to carry out the procedure for a small fee. Some local animal charities, organisations and authorities may also offer it for free.
How can I find out the details of my pet’s microchip?
If you take your pet along to any vet they will be able to scan your pet’s chip and see the details. Changing the details on your pet’s microchip is not possible, although the record can be changed at the database – you will need to contact directly the database your details are stored on. Your vet will be able to help you do this.
Can a microchip become damaged?
Because of the minute size of the microchip, they are very difficult to damage and also to remove. They are designed to be inserted once and not taken out. However, in very rare cases severe damage to your pet’s back and neck to could also cause damage to your pet’s microchip. On rare occasions microchips may be rejected by your pet’s body. In rare cases we have seen microchips become inactive, but this is incredibly rare.
Can all pets be microchipped?
Many cat and dogs are chipped. But it does not stop there! A whole range of pets can have the procedure done including rabbits, reptiles, birds, rodents and hoses. If in doubt, take your pet to the local vet and they will be able to advise you.