Microchipping your dog
No one wants to lose their pet. But in the event that your dog does go missing, it is commonly agreed that the best chance of finding him is through a microchip – so much so that microchipping will be compulsory for all pets in England, Scotland, and Wales as of April 2016.
- A microchip is a small electronic device, about the size of a grain of rice, coded with a unique number. The code can be read by a scanner that energises the microchip using a radio signal.
- Most pets are microchipped at the time of their first vaccination at about eight weeks of age by their local vet.
- A tiny chip is inserted into the dog via a fine needle, usually into the skin around the neck area between the shoulder blades.
- A unique number is provided to the pet's owner, which is registered on a database by the implanter. The pet owner should receive confirmation of the registration. It is the pet owner's responsibility to keep the information up to date with any changes of address or ownership details.
- In the event of the pet going missing and subsequently being found, a scan is conducted and the unique number is searched for on the database.
- As it is not a surgical procedure, any person may implant the chip providing they have been properly trained and proven to be competent. Although veterinary practitioners commonly conduct the procedure, many rehoming charities also carry out implants.
- Costs vary depending on who implants the chip but are generally in the region of £20 - £30. Many animal rescue charities carry out the procedure more cheaply and several provide a free service.