What is a microchip?
A microchip is a permanent identification device that is roughly the size of grain of rice, each with its own unique code. We implant the microchip under the skin between your dog/cat’s shoulder blades or into the crest of your horse in the course of a consultation. The microchip is designed to work for the life of your pet and they cannot be removed once implanted. The microchip doesn’t emit any signal (so it cannot be used as a GPS locator) nor does it require batteries. It is important to note that after implantation, a microchip does not cause any ongoing pain to your pet.
How does a microchip work?
The paperwork we ask you to fill out at the time of microchip implantation links your details to the unique code of your pet’s chip. This is then sent to Australasian Animal Registry where all the relevant details are entered into a national data base. You will receive notification of this taking place within a few weeks.
If your pet is then ever lost and handed into a vet clinic, animal shelter or council pound a scanner is used to locate its microchip and obtain the unique code. When the code is entered into the database an authorised person is able to obtain your details immediately and you are contacted allowing you to be reunited as soon as possible with your missing family member.
Microchipping is now a legal requirement and many councils will not register your pet unless they are microchipped – and they may fine you if your pet is unregistered!
What is the importance of keeping my details up to date?
Microchips have the added bonus of assisting in dispute of ownership cases but only if you maintain your correct details. This is especially important if you have purchased a puppy from a breeder and it is already microchipped.
One of the biggest issues we see as vets with microchips is failure of owners to keep their details up to date when they move, change phone numbers or rehome their animals. We cannot reunite you with your pet if your details are correct. It is relatively easy to update your details – you just need to fill in a form and send it off!
How do I know if my pet’s microchip is working?
The only way to know if your pet’s microchip is working properly is to scan your pet with a microchip scanner. If you would like your pet’s microchip checked just ask us at your next health check.
Rarely a microchip will stop scanning or will migrate from where it was implanted outside the scanning area. In these cases a second microchip may be implanted. The original microchip number is still retained by your pet and we do not remove them.
If your pet does not have a microchip implanted, please give us a call on (03) 5779 1754 to arrange an appointment to have this done. If you find a stray animal, please call us so that we can organise to see the animal and scan it for a microchip so that we can reunite the animal with their owners as soon as possible.