All You Need To Know About Pet Microchips

by Nancy Boland

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What is a microchip?

A microchip is a small electronic device, which is the size of a grain of rice. The microchip is coded with a unique number that can be read by a scanner that energises the microchip using a radio signal.

How is the microchip implanted?

Microchips are implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades. This only needs to be done once and takes seconds. It is not a painful process.

Does it hurt?

The actual insertion of the microchip feels like a small pinch. Your dog will not feel anything after insertion has been completed.

Will it stay in place?

Once the microchip has been inserted, the dog’s body tissue surrounding the microchip attaches itself, preventing movement of the chip.

What do I need to do once my dog has been chipped?

You must register the microchip number as well as their details with an appropriate computerised database. It is essential this database stay up to date and that any personal changes, like change of address are appropriately managed. The only people able to access the database are veterinary practices and animal welfare charities.

How is the identification number read?

Microchips work when a scanner is passed over them. This is because the scanner produces low frequency radio waves that passively activate the microchip, allowing the unique number to be read. Scanners can be found at most veterinary practices, Local Authorities and animal welfare groups. Local Authorities, dog rescue shelters and animal welfare groups use scanners to check stray dogs to see if they have been micro-chipped. If the dog has been micro-chipped he can then be returned to the owner.

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Where can I get my dog micro-chipped?

Most veterinary surgeries in the UK will microchip your dog, along with a growing number of Local Authorities and animal welfare groups.

How much will it cost?

You can expect to pay £20-£30 to have your dog micro-chipped at the vet, though many offer discounts. Certain dog charities like the Dogs Trust offer free micro-chipping at their centres during events.

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