A missing pet can be the stuff of nightmares, I am sure as pet owners we would all agree.

Thankfully, most missing animals usually come to no harm and turn up at veterinary surgeries or rescue shelters, which is where the hunt for the owner begins.

When a stray animal is brought to us here at the surgery, if it doesn’t have an identity disc on it’s collar, the first thing we do is check to see if it has a MICROCHIP, which is the most effective way of permanently identifying a pet.

So, what is a MICROCHIP?

A microchip is a very small radio-wave emitting electronic device (approximately the size of a grain of rice) which stores a unique number which can be read by a scanner. For the purposes of permanent identification of a pet, a microchip is be placed under the skin of the pet using a sterile needle and an implanting device. With cats and dogs, we usually place the microchip under the skin at the back of the neck (the ‘scruff’), and in this way the process of microchip implantation is very much like an ordinary injection. Once implanted under the skin, a special coating applied to the microchip prevents it from being rejected by the animal’s immune system.

How is the MICROCHIP detected and read?

Microchips emit radio-waves, and these are detected by a hand-held scanner, which is able to read the unique number of each chip. Vets, rescue shelters and dog wardens all use microchip scanners, and are able to identify an animal and trace it’s owner in this way.

What information in stored on a MICROCHIP?

The only information stored on each microchip is a unique number. When a pet is implanted with a microchip, the Vet and the pet owner will complete an on-line registration process which links this unique number to the name and address details of the pet owner. This information is securely stored on a national database, accessible only by veterinary and rescue shelter staff. Therefore, when a stray animal is brought into a Vet surgery or animal shelter, if it is microchipped, the Vet can read the microchip and access the national database to find and subsequently contact the owner, very quickly.

It is clear to see how the process of microchip implantation dramatically increases the likelihood of a stray pet being quickly reunited with it’s rightful owner. The anguish associated with a missing pet can be heart-breaking, and thankfully microchipping goes a long way towards helping to reduce this anguish. Microchipping is also vital if you wish to travel abroad with your pet, since it is the approved method of animal identification under the Pet Passport Scheme (see further information on our website). The microchips and scanners we use here at the surgery also allow us to check the temperature of your pet without the need for the dread, discomfort and indignity of the thermometer! Temperature checking in the conventional way can turn any mild-mannered pussy cat into a ferocious beast, and who can blame them, so having access to a non-intrusive alternative can be very welcome!

Microchip implantation is a very inexpensive procedure, it can be performed during a routine appointment here at the surgery, and no anaesthetic is required. For more information or to book an appointment, please do contact us here at the surgery and our trained staff will be able to assist you.