Blue Cross blog
Microchipping pets - your questions answeredPosted on 11 Jun 2013
Thousands of animals go missing every year and sadly many of them never find their way home. But microchipping can help to keep your pet safe, as Blue Cross Editor Natasha Kleanthous reveals…
Here at Blue Cross we take in hundreds of stray cats and dogs every year. We can often tell from the healthy condition they’re in or the confident and affectionate way they behave that many were much-loved family pets in the past.
But if they’re not microchipped it’s incredibly difficult to track down their owners and so we’ve got no choice but to find them new homes, even though we know that somewhere out there, they are being sadly missed.
These pets are actually the lucky ones because they’ve ended up at an animal charity like Blue Cross. Many others don’t ever make it to a rescue centre – instead they are euthanised or killed in an accident as they roam the streets.
Please don’t think it couldn’t happen to you – pets go missing all the time. If your pet isn’t microchipped you’ve got little hope of ever finding them again.
What’s a microchip?
A microchip is a tiny device, slightly bigger than a grain of rice, which is implanted under the skin on the back of a pet’s neck, just in front of the shoulder blades. Each microchip has a unique number which can be read with a scanner. This number matches a record on a database which contains the owner’s contact details so that they can be contacted straightaway and reunited with their pet.
How’s it done and does it hurt?
A special device is used to inject the microchip under the skin. It’s a quick procedure that shouldn’t hurt any more than a regular vaccination.
Where can I get my pet microchipped?
Blue Cross, and many other charities, are currently offering microchipping for free. Contact your nearest centre to find out more. Alternatively your local vet should be able to microchip your pet and it usually costs around £20-£30.
Why is microchipping so important?
Animal charities and local authorities use scanners to check stray pets for microchips. If they don’t have one it’s almost impossible to reunite them with their family. By microchipping your pet, you’ve got a much higher chance of seeing them again if they go missing.
By 2016 all dogs in England will have to be microchipped by law.
Are your details up to date?
If your pet is microchipped, make sure your contact details are up to date so you can be reunited with your pet should the worst happen.
To find out more, visit the National Microchipping Month website.