Microchipping is arguably the best way to get your pet back should they go missing, but what are microchips, and are they safe?
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small electronic device, roughly the size of a grain of rice. It is implanted under your pet’s skin and when scanned, gives a number that can be looked up on a database and show the owner’ contact details.
What pets can be microchipped?
From 6th April 2016, it became the law in the United Kingdom for all dogs to be microchipped. Similarly, some species of tortoise must be microchipped once they reach a certain size. Whilst you won’t be breaking the law by not having your other animals microchipped, rabbits, cats and parrots can be microchipped and should they ever get lost, you’ll have a greater chance of you and your pet being reunited.
Where does the microchip go?
Microchips can only be given by trained people, and most veterinary practices offer this service. A microchip is placed under the skin via a needle, very similar to an injection. The microchip is put between the shoulder blades, with the exception of tortoises where it is inserted into their left hind leg. Microchips can migrate around the body, and when your pet goes to the vet for any reason, it is a good idea to ask the vet to scan your pet to check the chip is working and to see the location of it.
How long will the microchip last?
The microchip should last for your pets lifetime.
My pet came to me microchipped – how do I change the details on the chip?
When you adopted or purchased your pet, the microchip number should have been given to you. If you do not have the number, you need to take your pet to someone with a microchip reader, such as the vets. The paperwork you received with your pet should say which company your pet was microchip[ped with, and by going on the manufacturers’ website will allow you to type in the number and change the details.
My pet has gone missing! What should I do?
It’s scary if your pet goes missing. You should contact the microchip company and ask them to flag your pet as missing. This means when he or she is found and scanned, an alert will show on the database.