Pet microchipping is a quick and simple procedure that greatly improves the chances of your pet being reunited with you in the event of them going missing.
Getting your pet microchipped will also keep you compliant with the law; dog microchipping has been a legal requirement since 2016 and cat microchipping* will become the law on the 10th of June 2024 too, both with potential £500 fines if animals are found without them.
Rabbits, ferrets, tortoises and some birds can be microchipped too, which is useful as some pets like to escape. Bird microchipping is generally carried out under a simple gas anaesthetic.
Pet microchips are electronic devices (about the same size as a grain of rice). In most domestic pets (cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets) they are injected under the skin between the shoulder blades. Birds and tortoises have them placed differently. Each microchip has a unique code, which can be scanned by hand-held microchipping scanning machines. These are widely used in veterinary practices and many rescue centres around the country and enable pets to be identified in the event of loss, theft, and road traffic accidents and reunited with their owners.
More than 1000 pets in the UK go missing every day from wandering off, escaping from home, or theft. Cats especially are at risk of road traffic accidents. Without a microchip, it can often be impossible to trace the owner – something we see far too often at our surgeries.
There are several microchip databases in the UK – if you want to find out which your pet is registered with, you can check on the Check-a-Chip website.
*from 20 weeks of age