Why should I Microchip my dog?
- Reuniting you with your dog. The first thing, vets, dog rescue centres or the police will do with a stray dog is to scan it for a microchip. If the worst happens and your dog goes missing, if it has a microchip it is much more likely to be reunited with you.
- Speed of finding you. If your dog is involved in an accident, vets will always administer basic first aid but, before more complex treatment can be given the owner must be found to give consent. A microchip will allow vets to contact you so that any treatment needed can be carried out without delay. Some animal rescue centres rehome stray dogs after one week if they are not reclaimed. A microchip will ensure that rescue centres are immediately aware that your dog has a concerned owner and is not a stray.
- Prevention of thieft. Unfortunately the thieft of dogs, particularly pedigree dogs, is a grim reality. Microchipped dogs are less likely to be stolen as thieves know that they will be harder to pass on. Tags to show that your dog has been microchipped are available, usually free of charge, when your dog is microchipped.
- Proof of ownership. When you find your dog a microchip can assist with proof of ownership.
What does Microchipping Involve?
A small microchip, approximately the size of a grain of rice is injected under the skin almost always in the scruff of the neck. The microchip carries a unique number or number/ letter combination which is held, along with details of the dog and its vet, in central databases. Veterinary practices, the police and dog shelters all have microchip scanners to allow them to read this unique number from the chip.
Will it hurt my dog?
Some dogs will not even notice the microchip being inserted, whilst others seem to experience a very short period of discomfort. Once the microchip has been inserted they are thought to be completely painless.
Problems with microchips
- Microchips can sometimes move under the skin; this is harmless but does mean that the microchip can be more difficult to find when scanning. This is not a problem as the whole body is usually scanned if a chip is not found immediately.
- In the first few weeks microchips can very occasionally move out through the hole in the skin where they were inserted but; this is extremely uncommon. Once the skin has healed over there is no danger of this happening. Two weeks after the microchip is inserted, return to your vets so that they can check that the microchip is still in place. If it is, the skin will have healed so it will remain safely in place for good.
- If you move you MUST update your address. If the address registered with the chip is not up to date, then the microchip is useless.