Whilst every dog owner is legally obliged to ensure that their dog is wearing a collar and identification disc, thousands of owners have now taken positive steps to ensure their much-loved companion can also be identified through microchip technology.
Microchipping is now recognised as the most effective and secure way of permanently identifying a pet. A unique identification number is registered to the animal and the owner’s details are placed on a national database.Yes this applies to cats too!
Sadly, the reality is that of the many thousands of dogs and cats that go missing each year, it is estimated that less than half of them are reunited with their owners. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get your pet microchipped and have the assurance that should he become lost (or be stolen), he is more likely to be returned to you safe and sound.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small electronic device, which is the size of a grain of rice. The microchip is coded with a unique number that can be read by a scanner. A microchip works through radio wave frequency.
How is the microchip implanted?
Using a specially designed implanting device the microchip is injected through a sterile needle under the dog’s skin.
Where is the microchip implanted?
In dogs, the microchip is implanted under the skin, between the shoulder blades.
Does it hurt?
No anaesthetic is required and the procedure should cause no more discomfort than a standard vaccination.
How does the microchip stay in place?
Once the microchip has been inserted, the pet’s body tissue surrounding the microchip attaches itself, preventing movement of the chip.
Why does the body not reject the microchip?
The microchip is encased in the same material (bio-compatible glass) that is used in human pacemakers. The microchip and the implanting equipment are sterilised before use, so that the dog’s body does not reject the microchip.
How is the identification number read?
Microchips work when a scanner is passed over them. This is because the scanner produces low frequency radio waves that passively activate the microchip, allowing the unique number to be read.
Who has a scanner?
These can be found at most veterinary practices, Local Authorities and animal welfare groups. Local Authorities and animal welfare groups use scanners to check stray dogs and cats to see if they have been microchipped. If the pet has been microchipped he can then be returned to the owner easily and quickly.
How are the owners traced?
If an animal is found to have a microchip, the Local Authority, vet or animal welfare organisation contacts a national database to find the owner’s details. The owner then can be contacted and reunited with their pet. Your registration document will tell you which database has your pet registered and their contact details. If you need to make any changes to your pets registered details , such as moving house, you should contact your database operator. Owners of microchip scanners have special access to the databases to allow them to contact you if they find your pets.
Where can I get my dog microchipped?
Most veterinary practices in Ireland can microchip your pet, along with a growing number of Local Authorities and animal welfare groups.
How much will it cost?
You can expect to pay €20-€50 to have your pet microchipped at the vet.
Alternatively you may want to contact your Local Authority Dog Warden for information on any local microchipping schemes that may be running.
The following are microchip companies in Ireland who have databases with animals and their owner’s details.
All Irish microchipped animals are registered on a European database so you can choose which company you like to register with and it will tell you which company the pet is registered to.
For more information please check out their websites
Pet Insurance Discounts:
Some insurance companies also offer discounts on Pet Insurance on animals that have been microchipped. Please mention to your insurance company that your pet is microchipped
Source Resource: Dogs Trust – http://www.dogstrust.ie/az/m/microchipping/
***Microchipping News Update**** Wed 27th March
Legislation requiring all dogs to be microchipped is to be introduced by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.
Mr Coveney told the Dáil it would take some time to put the necessary regulation in place and there would be a proper consultation process to ensure it was done right and was cost-effective.
He said microchipping would apply across the board, as it did already with dog-breeding establishments and the greyhound industry. “We cannot have different standards applying depending on where a puppy happens to come from,’’ he added.
Mr Coveney said he wanted a central database to know how many dogs there were in the country. “Accordingly, if there is a case of a stray dog, or one which has suffered cruelty or was abandoned, we can then establish who owned the dog and take appropriate action,’’ he added.