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Pet Microchips – Their importance (and the law)

Microchipping your pet is very important. It means that if the get lost for any reason they are much more likely to make their way back home. It also means that if they have an accident and are hurt that you can be told as soon as possible.

What is a microchip?

A pet microchip is a small computer chip which is about the size of a grain of rice. It is implanted just under the skin at the back of the neck between the shoulders. This is usually performed conscious and only takes a few minutes. It currently costs £15 at our practice.

How does it work?

Each microchip has an individual code which can be read using a microchip reader. This code is linked to a database. When the code is searched on the database it will give the details of the owners, so they can be contacted. Only certain organisations such as vets and rescue centers can get the information linked to the microchip. This way the details are secure.

Do I have to have my pet microchipped?

By law in the UK any dog over the age of 8 weeks dogs must be microchipped. If not the owner can face a fine of up to £500. However we would strongly recommend microchipping your cats as well. It has been shown having a microchip greatly increases the chances of a pet being reunited with their owners if they get lost or hurt. We have seen cases where pets are reunited up to 3 years after being lost just due to the microchip alone.

Lost cat

What if my cat is indoor only?

Some would say that it is even more important to microchip an indoor only cat. This is in case they do get out. They are unlikely to know their surroundings and so are far more likely to get lost.

Can only cats and dogs be microchipped?

Most animals can be microchipped. We can microchip rabbits and ferrets. Some birds and reptiles can also be microchipped but this may require anaesthesia.

Keeping your pet microchip details up to date

It is very important once your pet is microchipped to keep the details on the database up to date. Not only so that you can be contacted but also with dogs this is the law. It is very easy to forget when you change your phone number to update it on your pets microchip but it is very important. To do this you just need to contact the company who has your pets details stored, this is usually Petlog or Tracer or Identichip, but there are others too.