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Dog microchipping

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, that is implanted under your pet’s skin.

Every chip has a unique 15-digit number stored within it, on circuitry this 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.

Microchips are designed to last the lifetime of your pet.

The microchip is read from close range using a special scanner. Make sure your pet is covered by booking an appointment at your local Companion Care Vets. They'll be lost without one!
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Is microchipping a must? Does my pet really need one?

Although no one likes to think of their pet getting lost or stolen, unfortunately it does happen, as each and every year some 250,000 pets go missing. Collar identification tags are a legal requirement for dogs, but are not the best solution in themselves as they can fall off, break, or be removed. Microchipping is a permanent solution that greatly increases the chances that a lost pet will be reunited safely with its owner. If a pet is stolen and recovered by authorities, a microchip might provide the only means to identify and contact the owner.

England and Wales


From 6th April 2016 all dogs in England and Wales to be micro-chipped and registered by the breeder on an authorised database by the time they are 8 weeks old and before they transfer to a new keeper. The new keeper must then register the dog in their name and keep their details up to date. 


Scotland


Have draft legislation in place but are still consulting on the regulations but it is highly likely that compulsory micro-chipping will come into force on 6th April 2016. 


Northern Ireland

Since April 2012 all dogs held under an individual dog licence have to be microchipped.

 

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How do I update my pet’s contact information?

The first step in updating a pet’s contact details is to determine which database your pet’s microchip is registered on. Each microchip manufacturer contracts with a specific database. Then you will need to contact the manufacturer to update any information.

If you do not know which database to contact, but do know the manufacturer of your pet’s microchip, start by visiting the company’s website. Here you should find the contact details for the database which is associated with your pet’s microchip.

If you do not know either the microchip manufacturer or the database, you can refer to our Vet Report (page 28) and check the Chip Number prefix to determine which database to contact.

Finally, if you do not know any information about your pet’s microchip or database, phone your vet to see whether they have your pet’s microchip number, or you can arrange to take your pet in to have them scanned for the number.

Annual vet checks

Where can I get my pet microchipped?

A qualified microchip implanter will place the microchip under the skin between the shoulder blades of your pet. The procedure is very quick, and most pets experience little to no discomfort. It is very important to have this done by a qualified individual as complications can arise if performed incorrectly.

The microchip only needs to be placed once as it is designed to last for the life of the pet.
Book an appointment at your local Companion Care Vets today.
























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Where is my pet’s contact data stored?

Whenever a pet is microchipped, the owner’s contact details are recorded and submitted along with the chip number for storage in a national database. There are several such databases in the UK including Petlog, Anibase, Pettrac and Pet Protect. Each microchip manufacturer has partnered with one of these databases to store the contact details for each chip they manufacture.

In a recent study, Petlog found that 51% of owners didn’t know whether the contact details for their pet’s microchip were up to date.


 

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What happens if my microchipped pet is lost?

If your pet is lost, it is important to contact the database which holds your pet’s contact details as soon as possible. The database company will often be able to assist you in contacting local authorities to help in the search for your missing pet.

It is also a good idea to contact all veterinary practices in the area in which your pet went missing. If you have lost a dog you should also contact the dog warden. When a lost pet is taken to a vet, dog warden or rehoming centre, he or she should be routinely scanned for the presence of a microchip. If a microchip is found then the owner’s contact details can be retrieved from the appropriate database and the process of reuniting the lost pet with its owner can begin.