Advice on Microchipping Your Pets
Holiday time is nearly upon us, and some lucky pets may be joining us on our summer getaways. With this in mind, it’s important to take precautions before you go away.
June marks National Microchipping Month in the UK, and it’s a legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped. PDSA also recommend cats are microchipped as it’s the most reliable way of identifying them, and improves the chances of them being returned if lost.
PDSA Vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan said: “One of the most heartbreaking scenarios is when an injured animal is brought to us but isn’t microchipped, or the details on the chip aren’t up to date. You know the pet has a loving owner who will be desperate to know where they are, but there’s no way to let them know what has happened. These pets can end up in rescue centres if their owners are never found, which if they have strayed long distances may never happen. A simple microchip avoids all this.”
To help pet owners, Olivia has provided some top ‘need-to-knows’ when it comes to microchipping:
- While cats don’t require ID, it’s the law for dogs to wear a collar with ID tag when outside the home. Legally, the collar or tag needs to show the owner’s name and address but including a phone number can be helpful so you can be contacted easily if someone finds your pet.
- A single microchip will last for your pet’s lifetime. The chip can sometimes move around a little, which is why vets will scan over a pet’s whole body when checking for one. If the owner moves or a pet is rehomed they don’t need a new chip as the owner can just update their details with the microchip database – but it’s very important to remember to do this!
- Getting a microchip shouldn’t be too sore – they are smaller than a grain of rice. It’s similar to getting any other injection like a vaccination and many pets don’t even notice it happening. It goes under the skin between their shoulder blades. They’re made of non-reactive material so shouldn’t cause any reaction or pain once inserted.
- If your pet is found as a stray and brought to a vet or rescue centre, they will scan for the chip number then get in touch with the microchip company for the owner’s details so they can contact you. This is why it’s really important to make sure your details are always kept up-to-date in the database.
- Microchipping costs can vary, but many councils, charities and veterinary clinics offer discounted or even free microchipping schemes. It’s worth researching what’s on offer in your area to get the best option for you and your pet.
Microchipped pets stand a much better chance of being reunited with their owners should they ever go missing. For more information visit www.pdsa.org.uk/microchip
PDSA is the UK’s leading vet charity. We’re on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. www.pdsa.org.uk.