All too often microchip details are out of date, or an animal hasn’t been microchipped. Having an updated and accurate pet microchip is the best way to ensure that if you animal is lost, they can be returned to you without delay if they are found.
Microchips are tiny. A pet microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is injected under the skin on the back of the neck. It literally takes a second for it to be placed, and and then your pet has a unique chip with a code assigned to it embedded.
The microchip code will be registered to you, and will have the details of your pet, name, address, age, breed and a contact telephone number. The database used is accessible to police, the city dog warden and local vets. Dog wardens carry scanners and can check for details of owners if they find a animal, and can contact the owner.
In the past, we’ve had animals at our gate when our own girl dog was in heat. To return these dogs to home, we were required to call the dog warden in the absence of tags on the collars of two dogs. It was reassuring to know that the dog warden did not share any of the pet owner details with us. We were informed that the owner was traced and the animals would be returned.
SSPCA officers also carry scanners, and can check for ownership.
Your local or chosen vet can microchip your pet for you. Prices vary, so shop around if you are on a budget. Some vets will charge between £20-£30 for a microchip. If you are on benefits, the PDSA may help you with microchipping for free, and the Dogs Trust or some rehoming centres may provide the service for a fee.
You must keep your dog microchip details up to date, even if you have sold/given away your dog. It is law. It is sensible to also keep the details up to date for all other pets too. Even pets such as cats that don’t go outside, there is a chance of escaping during emergency/accident or misadventure.
There are very few cases for exemptions of dogs to be microchipped. An exemption certificate can be secured from a vet, if the dog is seriously ill, has an infection around where the site of a microchip would be implanted or there is a blood clotting issue. Your vet can advise you. You cannot get an exemption simply due to cost or you don’t want your dog microchipped. In almost every case, it is sensible to have pets microchipped.