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Microchipping your pet

All you need to know about microchipping

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What exactly is a microchip?

A microchip is a very small electronic device, about the same size as a grain of rice, which is implanted under your pet’s skin.

Every chip has a unique 15-digit number stored within it, and is encased in a protective shell made of glass or biopolymer. This casing helps to prevent the microchip from causing a reaction or moving around, which can make it difficult to read – it also helps with longevity as your pet’s microchip is designed to last a lifetime. 

Microchip numbers are read by a handheld scanner. The unique number is linked to your personal details, so that when your pet is scanned, you can be contacted and reunited with your pet as quickly as possible!

Dog microchipping

Microchipping is a permanent solution that greatly increases the chances that a lost dog will be reunited safely with its owner. If a dog is stolen and recovered by authorities, a microchip might provide the only means to identify and contact the owner.

From 6th April 2016 all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales are must be microchipped and registered by the breeder on an authorised database by the time they are 8 weeks old. Since April 2012, all dogs in Northern Ireland held under an individual dog licence have to be microchipped.  

More information on dog microchipping

Cat microchipping

Sadly, it is not unusual for cats to go missing or get lost. The Cats Protection charity alone re-homes 48,000 cats every single year. 

A microchip is what stands between a pet cat being lost forever and them being returned to their owners safe and sound. It also can help with ownership disputes, as it can be used to prove who the cat belongs to. 

More information on cat microchipping

Rabbit microchipping

Rabbits, either indoor or outdoor, are also at risk of escaping and getting lost. As they cannot wear collars, for rabbits a microchip can be the only way to have identification. This can make the difference between losing your rabbit, or getting them home safe and sound. 

More information on rabbit microchipping

Reptile Microchipping

It is not only our furry friends that can be microchipped, our reptiles have also been known to go missing. Microchipping your reptiles can be done safely, and helps them come back to you if they ever get lost. 

More information on reptile microchipping

Bird Microchipping

With the power of flight, an escaped bird can be tricky to catch and can travel a huge distance. This makes identifying lost birds difficult, especially if leg rigs are damaged or lost. Microchipping is a safe way to permanently identify your bird, and help them find their way home if they ever get lost. 

More information on bird microchipping

Ferret Microchipping

Ferrets are intensely curious, and have an uncanny ability to get through even the smallest of holes. This flair for adventure, as well as the risk of loss when sporting, or theft, means that permanently identifying your ferret is really important. 

More information on ferret microchipping

Microchipping case study Thunder.jpg
When Thunder and his family moved house they did everything right. They settled him into his new home and kept him in the house to allow him to get used to his new surroundings. 

Once they felt he was ready, they decided to let him go and explore outside. Thunder didn’t return home and after looking high and low for him, his owners thought that the worst must have happened and that they would never see him again. Some two and a half years later, Thunder’s owners received a phone call from a Companion Care surgery in Fareham. Someone who suspected Thunder was a stray had picked him up and taken him in. The practice team had checked him over and then scanned him for a microchip. To their relief he was microchipped and a quick phone call to Petlog revealed his name and family’s contact details. Thunder’s owner arrived at the surgery later that day and, to her amazement, there was her beloved Thunder. 

She picked him up and he snuggled into her neck, giving her a big hug. Needless to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the surgery!

Microchipping case study Sidney.jpg
When Flossie and Sidney the Labradors were found running around the centre of Harrogate in the middle of the night, it was clear that they were a long way from home. 

Fortunately a kind member of the public made sure they were safe and the next day Vets4Pets Harrogate were able to reunite them quickly with their worried owner, thanks to their microchips.