Microchipping Your Ferret | Companion Care
ferret being held

Microchipping Your Ferret

All you need to know about microchipping your ferret!

A microchip is a small device about the size of a grain of rice. The microchip is inserted under your ferret’s skin, between their shoulder blades, via a quick injection. Once inserted, your ferret cannot feel the microchip and the special capsule around it means that it does not break down and is designed to last your pet’s lifetime. The microchip is coded with a unique number that can be read by a scanner. Microchips do not store personal data – this is kept against the unique identification number on a secure database. If your ferret is found and scanned, the microchip database is accessed online and the organisation that has your ferret, for example the veterinary surgery, a rescue centre or the police, can use the number to find your details. You can then be contacted and your pet safely reunited with you.

Microchipping your ferret

Ferrets are wonderful animals and incredibly curious. This curiosity, combined with an ability to get through the tiniest of gaps, is one of the main reasons that ferrets end up lost. Sadly, pet theft is also a very real problem. Microchips provide a permanent method of identification for your ferret, should they go missing for any reason.
Some ferrets are used for sport, and these may be let loose in the countryside. Many ferret owners who use their ferrets for sport will use ‘ferret finders’. These are GPS tracking devices which attach to your ferret while they are out using a harness. While these are excellent for helping locate a lost or trapped ferret, they also rely on battery power and may get lost or broken. This means they are excellent short-term, but do not provide the long term identification of a microchip. Using both if you plan to let your ferret out is the best way to keep a safe track of them, and will help increase their chances of being returned to you if their tracker stops working.
Ferrets are currently covered under the PETS travel scheme, along with cats and dogs. This means they can travel within Europe once they have a Pet Passport, which can be issued by your vet. A microchip is a requirement for the issuing of a Pet Passport, so if you plan on taking your ferret abroad they will need to be microchipped.
There is no specific guideline for how old a ferret should be before microchipping. Being quite small, usually microchipping can be done from 8-16 weeks old, although if your ferret is well secured you may want to wait until they are fully grown. Always make sure your ferret is microchipped before letting them outside for the first time in case they get lost. The procedure is very quick and is considered relatively painless; it should be no more painful than an injection or having their blood taken for a test.

A qualified microchip implanter will place the microchip under the skin between the shoulder blades of your ferret. All vets and nurses are qualified to implant microchips, and many pets have their microchip implanted at the vets. The procedure is very quick, and most ferrets experience little to no discomfort. It is very important to have microchip implantation 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 your ferret.

Book a microchip appointment

Any time your personal contact details change, including details such as your mobile phone number, you must update the microchip company with your new details. Changing your details at your vet will not change your microchip details, as these are held by a separate company.

This is the same if you rehome an animal which is already microchipped. The physical chip does not have to be touched, but the unique 15-digit number needs to be assigned to your details rather than that of a previous owner.

It is your responsibility to contact your microchip company to change details, but your vet can help you if you have lost your pet’s microchip number or are not sure which company your pet’s microchip is registered with.

How to update:

  1. Determine the manufacturer of your pet's microchip. This should be on any microchip paperwork you hold.
  2. Determine which database holds your contact details. From your ferret's microchip paperwork, or from the microchip company's website, find out which database your pet's microchip is registered on. Each microchip manufacturer contracts with a specific database. NOTE: If you do not know either the database or the manufacturer, these can be determined by the chip number prefix (the first part of your ferret's microchip number) which is each unique to a certain database. If you also do not know your pet's microchip number, contact your vet to see if they have this information stored, or arrange to have your pet brought in to be scanned so you can get the number.
  3. Fill out the change of details form. Each database will have a form you can fill out which will allow you to change your details. This may incur a small cost.

As pet owners, losing a pet is right up on the list of things we don’t ever want to think about happening. However, it is a sad fact that many pets go missing every year.

Almost all pets can be microchipped, including cats, dogs, rabbits, tortoises, parrots, ferrets and snakes. Microchips offer a more permanent way of making sure your pet is always identifiable and that you can always be contacted in the event of them being found.