A microchip is often the only way to reunite a lost pet with their owner. It is not uncommon to hear of cats which stray miles only to be eventually reunited with their owners due to a microchip. Cats are known for wandering and may adopt several families to feed them; a microchip is the quickest way to prove ownership. For similar reasons microchipping of dogs will be compulsory by 2016.
The procedure is quick and safe. The vet or nurse will inject a tiny microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) under the loose skin of your pet’s neck. The needle is larger than a standard injection needle however most pets do not notice the injection, especially if distracted by a treat.
If your pet strays and gets handed in to another veterinary surgery, rescue centre, the police or local authority, they have special hand held scanners that can detect and “read” the information on the microchips. Each chip has a unique number which is registered against your name and contact details on a national database.
Microchipping can be performed in cats, dogs, rabbits, birds and reptiles. Young cats and rabbits are often microchipped under anaesthetic at the time of neutering. Birds often require a brief anaesthetic to implant the chip; this can be discussed with your vet.