June is National Micro-Chipping month, and consequently our focus this month at Ark Veterinary Surgery is Micro-Chipping. Micro-chipping will be compulsory for all dogs in England from March 2016, and in Wales from April 2015. Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to find your pet in the event that they are lost or stolen, we always stress the importance of this for our patients; if your pet is not micro-chipped, read our friendly advice below.
1. Micro-chipping has a number of benefits for puppies, as they can be easily traced to their breeder which reduces the risk of puppy farming, and lessens the risk of infectious disease and inherited illness that dogs can suffer from.
2. In the event of an emergency, vets can identify micro-chipped pets quickly and easily so that they can contact the owner immediately and obtain permission to administer the appropriate treatment.
3. Pets who have gone missing, whether they have strayed or been stolen have a much greater chance of being reunited with their owners if they have a microchip.
4. Microchips are required as permanent identification for animals with pet passports and as a requirement for certain endangered species so individuals can be identified.
What is micro-chipping?
A micro-chip is a small electronic device the size of a grain of rice, which is coded with a unique serial number which can be read by a scanner.
The micro-chip is inserted between the shoulder blades by a suitably trained professional, generally whilst they are conscious (it is not painful or harmful to the animal, it simply feels like a small pinch or sting). They are unlikely to fail and therefore don’t need to be ‘re-administered’ at a later date.
Once your pet has been micro-chipped, the number is then registered with a database; most of the time this is done by the Surgery or Organisation which chips the pet, however sometimes this is the owner’s responsibility. It is important that information such as a change of address, ownership or telephone numbers is kept up to date.
Almost any pet can be micro-chipped, and we strongly advocate microchipping for all pets. Horses, birds, small animals and even lizards and tortoises can be micro-chipped. If you are unsure whether your pet is suitable for micro-chipping, please consult your vet.