There is nothing as happy as arriving home and seeing your beloved dog come bounding over to greet you, or your dear feline friend waking you up at 5am with purrs and loves after returning from nighttime adventures.

Nothing can describe the panic and dread that overwhelms you when you get home, awaiting your puppy’s excitement, only to be greeted by empty silence. Or the building fear that your cat has not come home for 2, now 3 nights in a row, and appears to be missing.

One way to avoid worrying about your pets is to ensure they are properly identified so that if they wander and become lost, they can be found and tracked back to you. Pets are part of our family, but unlike your two-legged relatives, they can’t tell someone where they live and that they are scared and lost… But their Microchip helps them communicate with us that they are loved, wanted and have a home to go back to, even if they are not wearing a collar. This increases the odds that we can link them back to you.

Microchipping your pet involves placing a small computer chip about the size of a grain of rice under the skin, that contains a serial number unique to your pet. Once the microchip is registered, your details (including your phone number) will be available to the veterinary practice that has found your pet and scanned its microchip. It is implanted in a simple procedure by a veterinarian who uses a needle applicator to place the microchip under the loose skin in between the shoulder blades. The whole procedure takes just a few seconds.

It is also a good idea to have your pets microchip scanned with their annual vaccinations to check that it has not moved, that it is still able to be scanned and that your details have not changed.

While microchipping pets can help reunite an animal with his family, the technology does have limitations that you as pet parents should understand:

If you move or your phone number changes and you do not log onto your pet’s microchip profile to update and change those details, your pet’s microchip will have outdated information – which means that if your pet goes out gallivanting and is found by a helpful soul and brought to a vet for scanning, they will have no way of contacting you, so always make sure to keep your contact information up-to-date.

dog-tagThe other limitation to note, is that this is not a tracking device. If your pet is lost and has not been found yet, the microchip cannot track your pet’s location. It is purely a computer chip that contains your pet’s ID number, so that if someone does find them and bring them to a vet or welfare, they can contact you to let you know he/she has been found and which facility you can collect them from.

Because of those above limitations, we like to emphasise that it is important that you don’t use microchipping your pet as the only way of identifying your dog and cat. Your pet should always wear a tag with your updated contact information as well.

Should you have any further questions or queries about microchipping, please contact our clinic regarding the procedure and we will happily give you all the information you need.