From April 2016, all dogs will need to be microchipped by law. But aside from the legal angle, microchipping your dog or cat has many advantages for both of you. I know most of you will have your dogs and cats chipped already, but for those of you that don’t and want to know more about microchipping, read on!
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a small device, about the size of a grain of rice, which lives under your dog’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades.
What are the Advantages of Getting My Dog Microchipped?
Simply put, if your dog or cat runs away, is stolen or gets lost, the chances of being reunited with your pet are far greater if they are chipped. If they are lost or stolen and scared, they could have lost their collar and ID tags, and the chip may be the only ID they have.
How Does it Work?
A small chip is inserted using a needle in between your dog’s shoulder blades. It doesn’t hurt, and the chip is encased in the same material as is used to protect pacemakers in humans and will, over time, be surrounded by your dog’s tissue, thereby holding it in place. If the chip does slip a little, it won’t move into your dog’s body, as it sits in between the layers of skin, and it can still be scanned.
How Much Does it Cost?
Microchipping is either free or done for a nominal fee. I got my two cats from a rescue charity and paid a fiver to have them chipped. Our dogs came from a breeder, and one was an adoption. They were both chipped at the vets for around £15 and when you consider the cost of owning a dog overall, paying to have your dog microchipped is a drop in the ocean.
Where Can I Get it Done?
Charities like Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, the PDSA and others, usually do it for free or for a small donation. All vets will microchip your pet too for a fee, but Dogs Trust has set aside £6m to give chips to vets to insert free of charge.
How Do I Update the Details on My Dog’s Microchip?
It’s important to update your dog’s details if you move house. Also, if you adopt an already microchipped dog or cat, you will need to update their details as soon as possible.
Change of address is currently £6, and change of ownership is £12. As I said, compared to the cost of owning a dog in general, it’s small beans. And when you think about how much your dog costs you and what they mean to you, can you afford not to?