A microchip is a tiny glass capsule, about the size of a grain of rice, which is filled with electronic components giving a unique 15 digit number. Giving a pet a microchip is a relatively simple procedure.
Cat and Dog Microchipping in London
Each year across London and wider across the UK, thousands of animals become separated from their owners and homes and are found by the local dog warden or police, brought to an animal charity, or admitted injured to a veterinary practice. Without a microchip that can be used to identify them, it can be very difficult to reunite you with your pet.
Sadly, pet theft is becoming more common. Having your pet microchipped is a safe and secure way to prove ownership and claim your lost or stolen pet once they have been found.
Keep your pet identifiable by contacting your local Goddard Veterinary Practice to arrange microchipping. Find your nearest practice across London today.
What Is Pet Microchipping?
Although it sounds like something from a sci-fi film, microchipping is a common procedure performed by Vets and pet charities across the country. It involves a small silicon-covered microchip – about the size of a grain of rice – that is inserted under your pet’s skin. There is a unique, 15-digit code on the chip that can then be read using a handheld scanner by veterinary teams, animal charities, the police, and dog wardens. The chip number is also used to identify your pet if you are travelling abroad.
The code is then registered on a microchip database with all your details as the registered owner, allowing the registered finder to contact you and reunite you with the pet. Only groups registered with the database, such as veterinary surgeons, animal charities, and the dog warden can access your details and your details cannot be shared without your consent to members of the public.
Since 2016, it has been a legal requirement for all dogs over 8 weeks old to be microchipped in England and Wales. You can arrange for a microchip to be implanted into your puppy from just a few weeks of age. If your puppy is very small our Vets may recommend waiting until they achieve a certain weight, and we can issue a certificate that covers you legally until the puppy has achieved this weight.
If you are not sure if your dog or puppy is already microchipped, this can be checked at a routine health check with a member of our veterinary or nursing teams. It is a good idea to have the chip checked at every routine health check and when you bring your puppy in for their first Veterinary health check.
If your puppy was microchipped outside of the UK, it is a legal requirement to register the chip with a UK database and this is the only way we can identify your pet if they go missing in the UK.
Many cat owners will agree that their furry friend likes to wander off. Sometimes it’s just for a few hours, but sometimes they don’t come back. Having a lost cat can be tricky because it’s hard to know where to start. Unfortunately, traditional collars and identification tags aren’t a guarantee as they can break and fall off when your cat is out and exploring.
By microchipping your cat, you can rest assured that if they are found by an animal charity or bought injured to a veterinary practice, then it will be easier for you to be contacted and for you to be confirmed as the rightful owner. Cats can be microchipped from 5 weeks old and onwards, although this will depend on the size of your kitten, and you may wish to wait until they are neutered which we can do from 4 months of age. Microchips are designed to last for a lifetime and are relatively painless and straightforward for any cat.
Microchipping Indoor Cats and Compulsory Microchipping
The Government has also announced its intention to introduce compulsory microchipping for cats and so soon it will become a legal requirement. Read more on this here.
Microchip Cat flaps
Another excellent benefit of having your cat microchipped is the advancements in cat- flap technology. Several cat-flaps now use microchip technology to allow entry for your cat – this means no more unwanted furry visitors gaining access to your home and leading to stress-related behaviours or disease in your cats.
Keeping Your Details Up To Date
Microchips only work to reunite you with your pet if you keep your details up to date on the database. There are currently several databases in use in the UK and we recommend checking your registered details on a regular basis, especially if you move home or get a new phone number. You should have a record of the code in the microchip certificate for your pet or your vaccination book.
Petlog.org.uk is the website we use to register chips we implant, and they can point you in the right direction if your pet’s chip is not registered with them.
If your breeder implanted the chip and has not arranged transfer of keepership please go to the Petlog website to arrange, or the database for the chip used by the breeder.
If your pet was not microchipped in the UK, it is important that you register them in the UK and a legal requirement for dogs. Please see recording of an unregistered microchip for details.
Pet Microchipping FAQs
Does Microchipping Hurt?
Although the thought of any injection for your pet can seem scary and painful, microchipping is very straightforward and will not put your pet through any unnecessary stress. Our veterinary and nursing teams are very experienced with placing chips and will adapt to the needs of your pet.
Typically, the chip is injected under the skin between the shoulder blades. The needle used is larger than a standard vaccination needle but shouldn’t cause any major discomfort for your pet as the procedure will only last a few seconds. Occasionally there may be a small amount of tenderness or inflammation around the site or have a minor reaction to the injection, but this settles down within a day or so.
When Should I Microchip My Pet?
Dogs should be microchipped by the age of 8 weeks old. This means if you bought your puppy from a breeder they should already be chipped, you simply need to change the details to your own. See the link above to Transfer Keepership.
Cats can be microchipped from the age of 5 weeks, and it is recommended to be done as soon as possible before they venture outside. In very small puppies and kittens, your vet may recommend we delay the procedure or consider implanting the chip under a general anaesthetic, when they are neutered in the case of cats.
Can I Microchip Other Pets?
Almost all animals can be microchipped to help find them in the event they become lost. Along with Cats and Dogs, pets such as Rabbits, Tortoises, Ferrets, and even some birds can all be chipped.
Is A Microchip A GPS?
No. A microchip does not emit a signal and cannot be used to track the location of your pet. The microchip holds a unique microchip number and when it is scanned using a microchip scanner, the number can be obtained. This unique number, along with all your pet and contact information, is held on your record by the database so if your pet gets lost the number can be used to identify that the pet belongs to you for the purposes of reunification.