What are microchips?
Microchips are tiny; about the size of a grain of rice. They hold a unique number that is detected with a small, hand held scanner. As of April 2016 microchips will be compulsory for all dogs over 8 weeks of age in the UK.
How are they used?
They are implanted, by an injection, just under the skin in your pet’s “scruff”, located between the tops of the shoulder blades. The procedure takes seconds, but the needle is larger than the ones used for vaccination, so the injection can be momentarily uncomfortable. Occasionally, there is a small amount of bleeding. It can be done at any age, but most vets prefer to do it when your pet is between 4-6 months of age. Whenever possible, we try to combine microchipping with a procedure requiring an anaesthetic, most commonly a neutering operation.
What are the benefits?
Identification: a microchip cannot be tampered with or lost (unlike a collar). It provides the most secure way to identify your pet. They are invaluable if your pet should get lost, wherever you are. Throughout Europe, the first thing that any authority will do to a stray pet is scan them. A Europe-wide central database stores your contact details against your pet’s unique microchip number, enabling you to be re-united.
- Any pain from the injection is momentary – there are no after-effects.
- Any bleeding, if it happens, stops immediately.
- Occasionally the microchip will move from the injection site, but it will always remain just under the skin; it cannot go deeper into the body.
- The chip is completely sterile and inert; that means that it does not cause a reaction or swelling.