A guide to micro-chipping your pet
Most pet owners think of their pet as a member of the family. So if the animal is lost or even stolen, the impact can be hugely distressing.
Sadly, thousands of pets go missing every year, even from homes where they are loved and cared for by their doting owners.
Which is why microchipping your dog, for example, makes such good sense. It provides priceless peace of mind that, if your pet wanders off or is stolen, it will be traced.
And it’s worth noting that dog microchipping will become law in April 2016.
What is microchipping?
Mircochipping is a permanent way of identifying your pet. A tiny electronic device is inserted under the skin between the animal’s shoulder blades with a needle – either by your vet or at a specialist centre. Once in place, your pet won’t know it’s there, and it should last its lifetime.
The chip contains a unique number which can be scanned if a lost animal is found, and matched to the owner’s contact details on a database.
If you move house or your details change, you simply let the database know so that they can keep their records up to date.
If you move house or your details change, you will need to get in touch with the micro-chip database to ensure their records are kept up to date.
What are the benefits of micro-chipping?
The major benefit is that if your pet wanders off and gets lost, it can be safely returned to you. In some cases it can also help stolen animals be re-united with their owners. Collars and tags are still essential, but microchipping your pet gives that extra chance of coming home safe and sound.
Rescue centres, vets, local authorities and wardens have chip scanners so if a lost or stolen animal is found they can scan the chip and reunite the owner with their pet.
A further financial benefit is that it may lower the cost of your pet insurance. When you take out cover, the insurer will ask whether your pet has a chip in place – and you’ll have to give details of your microchip number.
Free microchipping for your pet!
The cost of micro-chipping can vary and it will depend where you get it done – but the great news is that you can get it done FREE at any one of a national network of approved specialist centres, with participating vets working with the Dogs Trust and the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs.