Why you Should Microchip Your Pet!

Over 5 million pets in the UK are not microchipped*

June 2019: National Microchip Month

Microchipping is the best way of permanently identifying your pet, and can increase the chances of you being reunited should the worst ever happen. However, research in the latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report revealed that 800,000 dogs (9%), 3.6 million cats (32%) and 810,000 rabbits (81%) in the UK aren’t microchipped.

Vets and animal charities strongly recommend microchipping to help track down your pet if they ever get separated from you, no matter what their species. Dogs and indoor cats can escape and stray, while outdoor cats like to wander and it’s easy for them to get lost if they become frightened or get inside a vehicle by accident. Rabbits and small pets are also notorious escape artists, so getting them microchipped will help if they are found. Even unusual pets like reptiles and birds can be microchipped.

PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan states: “A collar or tag can fall off or be removed, but a microchip is a more permanent way to identify your pet and keep them safe. Microchipping is the best way of being reunited with your pet if they ever go missing, are stolen or stray, so we would always recommend getting your pets microchipped. For dogs, it’s also a legal requirement.”

The law currently only covers dogs and states that:

  • Your dog must wear a collar and tag with your contact details on when in public
  • Any dog over eight weeks old must be microchipped

Owner details should be kept up-to-date with the microchip database – this will increase the likelihood of beng reunited if anything were to happen to your beloved pet.

Olivia added: “It’s no good having a chip with out of date information, as then we still can’t get in touch if your pet is found as a stray. So it’s important to keep your details up to date, for example when you change phone number or move house.”

Three Myths about Microchipping:

“It will hurt my pet”

Microchipping is usually done when pets are awake as it’s quick and most pets barely notice. Microchipping is a simple and quick procedure and if they do notice it, it’s just the discomfort of a sharp scratch as the needle goes in, which is over in an instant. Some animals won’t even blink an eye while others might complain a little. A little distraction like a treat will go a long way to helping them forget about it.

“Microchipping is expensive”

The cost of having your pet microchipped varies, but most vets will only charge a small fee. There may be charities or events in your local area offering microchipping at a reduced cost or even free.

“My details aren’t safe” 

Your details will be held securely by the database and they have to adhere to data protection laws. The information they hold would include your name, address, phone numbers and details of your pet. Only approved organisations can access your details (this would include veterinary staff, dog wardens and rescue centres), and they would typically only look up your details if you asked to check them or if your pet was presented to them as a stray.

As well as offering microchipping for eligible pet owners at our hospitals, PDSA also offer microchipping to all dog owners as part of our PetWise on Tour community visits. For more information please 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. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. www.pdsa.org.uk 

* PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report 2018 (www.pdsa.org.uk)

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21 thoughts on “Why you Should Microchip Your Pet!

  1. Léa says:

    Imperative! Since we only adopt from the SPA, the kindly keep us covered. They also take care of spaying/neutering. All I needed to do was to promise to love and obey.

    • Marc-André says:

      You know the silly thing is that in the UK it’s required by law to microchip your dog but not your cat…

  2. zodiacimmortal says:

    I understand it costs to microchip, I’d hate to know how much they cost to make

    but why can’t they have a law that as soon as an animal is rescued/comes into a shelter etc (no matter what country) that it has to be microchipped. (and is included in adoption donation/fee)

    (also instead of just the chip that ONLY the vets and shelters can use IF a lost pet is brought in… Why not have GPS components on the chip so that those with smart phones or internet can just look up on an app or website?

    now THAT would be helpful. A neighbor’s dog was STOLEN right from his yard. (Actually his backyard. Which unless you’ve been around here you wouldn’t know about!) Says she’s microchipped but until the dog needs a vet or whatever that chip doesn’t help. They need to include GPS on those things so you can find your dog or at be they sneak out or someone steals them!!

    • Marc-André says:

      So very true. In the UK all dogs must be chipped by law but not cats which is mental.

      As for the GPS technology sadly is not quite there yet. A working gps signal needs access to power and at the moment there is no battery that would last long enough once implanted.

  3. Hangaku Gozen says:

    My cat refuses to wear a collar, so as soon as we moved to a new neighborhood, I had her chipped. It was quick and painless, and I feel a lot better knowing that if she does get outside, it’ll be a lot easier to find her. Good post!

    • Marc-André says:

      One of ours refuses collars as well. And even tho they are indoors and only supervised outside cats we have all of them chipped just in case.

      And thank you. 🙂

  4. Jordan says:

    Very good article. I should write a similar article and research on how many pets in the USA Florida where I live are not microchipped. Great information. Do you mind if when I finish my research I also reference your blog for people to come here and read about your stats for the UK? I have a pet blog about my miniature rottweiler Max https://minirottie.com

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