What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small electronic chip which is placed underneath an animals skin. It is extremely small, approximately the size of a grain of rice, and contains a unique 15 digit code, which can be read using a non intrusive scanning device. The code is stored on a central database and linked to the owners contact details, which can be accessed via vets, dog wardens and animal rescue centre 24 hours a day. Getting your dog microchipped helps reunite animals that have gotten lost with their owners.
What is involved in the procedure?
Microchipping is a painless procedure that can be administered by a veterinary nurse. It does not require general or local anaesthetic and only takes a couple of minutes to fit. A special device is used to implant the microchip through a sterile needle, usually in the scruff of the neck in between the animals shoulder blades.
What are the laws on microchipping?
In April 2016 a law was passed, which means that microchipping dogs is now mandatory. By law, dogs have to be microchipped by the time they reach 8 weeks old and the breeder should be the first registered owner. When buying a puppy it is imperative that you ask to see a copy of the microchipping paper work and ensure that you change the contact details to your own. Any owner who is found not to be complying with the law may be given 21 days in order to comply, however a fine of up to £500 can be administered. At present the law only applies to dogs, however we also recommend getting cats microchipped, as they often like to roam away from home. In addition to having a microchip, it is also compulsory that dogs wear a collar with an identifying tag when out in public.
How do I update my contact details?
It is your responsibility to keep your contact details up to date following a change of address or circumstances. Amending your contact details is quick and can usually be done online or over the phone. The paper work that you are given at the time of getting the microchip fitted will contain the name of the database on which your microchip is stored. There is usually a small cost attached to this.
For more information or to book a microchipping appointment with one of our veterinary nurses please contact us.