Keeping our pets safe is important to all of us as pet owners. They trust us with their care and protection and, as well as feeding, exercising and cuddling them, that includes identifying them so that we can be reunited if we are parted.
A microchip literally identifies your pet as belonging to you. It contains your details as an owner, which are stored on a central pet database. By scanning this microchip, a vet can get you and your pet back together as a family, whatever the circumstances may be.
You may be concerned that microchipping is an intrusive process, but the chip is tiny – the size of a grain of rice – and for cats and dogs the procedure takes seconds; it doesn’t even require an anaesthetic. It’s usually inserted under the skin in the scruff of the neck, and once it’s there, you (or your pet) won’t even notice it.
Hopefully you’ll never need to use the microchip, because your pet will live a safe, happy and long life with you. But there may be circumstances where you’ll be glad it’s there, such as:
Your pet is lost
It’s easily done - even the most careful of owners are at risk of their pet running away; whether it’s a dog that bolts out of the front door when you take a delivery, a rabbit that escapes its hutch, or a cat that gets stuck in a neighbour’s shed. When your pet is found, it will most likely be taken to a local vet practice or a charity rescue home. One quick scan of the microchip and a phone call later, and your pet is back where they belong – with you!
Your pet is stolen
It’s an unfortunate reality that some pets – especially purebreds with high value – are stolen to order and resold. Without a microchip you wouldn’t be able to trace them. With a chip your animal can be identified and brought back home.
Your pet is in an accident
Outdoor pets, especially cats, are prone to injury; whether that’s fighting with another animal or being involved in an accident. Injured pets found by members of the public are usually taken to a local vet practice, who will treat the animal whilst also trying to track down the owner. As long as your pet is microchipped and the details are up to date, you’ll be reunited with each other in no time.
There are certain things to consider about microchipping:
- It’s a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped in England, Wales and Scotland.
- It’s illegal for breeders to sell puppies over 8 weeks old that are not microchipped and on a registered database.
- There is no legal requirement to microchip other pets, but it is strongly advised by animal charities, and by us here at Hawick Vets
- Do remember to keep your details up to date if you move house or change telephone number, so that you can be contacted if necessary.
If you want to know more about getting your pet microchipped, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. There’s also some information available on the Government website which you may find useful https://www.gov.uk/get-your-dog-microchipped