National Microchip Month 2011

Welcome to my blog! I hope you enjoy your visit, and maybe even decide to stay! This will, I hope, be the first of many posts, and in honour of June being “National Microchip Month”, I wanted to talk (or write?) a little about micro-chipping.

First, the important part, in the UK, Petlog is the largest microchip database, and throughout June pet owners can check & amend their contact details for free.

A microchip is a small device (people often say they’re about the size of a grain of rice, though I’d be pedantic and say they’re a little wider), which holds an identification number, which is linked to the owners details via a database. They are often called an “RFID chip”, which stands for “Radio Frequency Identification”. The type of microchips used to identify our pets are “passive”, meaning they have no power source and are designed to act only when they are acted upon (by the microchip reader).

A lot of people worry that implanting a microchip in an animal hurts it, and I can honestly say after witnessing several animals (dogs and rabbits) being micro-chipped, it seems to cause no more discomfort than a vaccination.

In the UK, micro-chipping is currently not compulsory, though in New Zealand, all dogs born since July 1st 2006 need to be micro-chipped.

I think micro-chipping is an awesome thing, because as long as the owners details are kept up-to-date, if a pet goes missing, or is stolen, it can easily be proved who it’s owner is and they can be reunited. Just recently I was watching one of the “Animal Cops” series of programmes on Animal Planet, and an owner was reunited five years after the dog had been stolen, simply because the dogs’ chip was checked. On the BBC News website there are two stories about pets who were re-united with their families after three months, and five years away from their families.

What are your opinions on microchips (or any other form of permanent pet identification), or do you have any stories about them?

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4 thoughts on “National Microchip Month 2011

  1. Great article!
    Microchipping should start with the breeder or rescue group when you first get your dog!! My dogs still wear their tags at all times when outdoors, but microchips have proven time and time again to be well worth the price! There are lots of stories of dogs who were stolen or lost, being reunited with their family 3-7 years down the road! Why wouldn’t someone want their dog chipped??!

    • Indeed. I’m not saying that ID tags are a bad thing, but when they’re so easily removed or changed, it certainly helps to have something more permanent which isnt easily changed – checking on the Petlog website you need the chip number to change your details; something any lawful dog owner would have without having to have the dog/cat/etc scanned by a vet.

  2. All of my dogs are microchipped. I will admit to being opposed to them when they were first introduced, something along the lines of not wanting to put a foreign body into my dogs but now realise how silly that was and have since trained to microchip dogs myself.

    You are right it is no worse than an inoculation. Some dogs don’t even feel it and some might complain briefly for a second or two.

    I occasionally microchip a whole litter of pups and register them to the breeder before they go to their new homes. In an ideal world all pups bred would be microchipped and registered to the breeder and they would then be responsible for them should they end up in rescue….. but that’s a whole other subject.

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