To chip or not to chip, that is the question?
Micro-chipping your pet is a key part of responsible pet ownership that Doolittle’s Dispensary heartily recommends all pet owners do. The technique involves placing a small microchip, the size of a grain of rice, under the skin of our pets using an implanting device. The implanting device does have a large needle, which can be rather scary for those that are phobic of such things, and our pets can squeak a little when the chip is placed but it is no more painful than a vaccination.
The location of the microchip position varies greatly depending on the species of your pet. In cats and dogs, the microchip is placed under the skin between the shoulder blades. In a horse, it is placed half way up the neck just below the mane and in a tortoise, it is placed under the skin of the back leg. Once in situ, the microchip should remain in place for life.
The microchip has a unique reference number specific only to your pet and the implanter will record this along with you and your pet’s details. These details are then logged at a central database that can be accessed when and if required. Should your animal ever go missing, then by having a microchip implanted it is armed with essential information to ensure its safe return. When a lost pet is found and scanned, the finder will be able to contact the national database, obtain your contact details and reunite you with your lost pet. However, you will need to take care to contact the database to let them know if any of your details change so that they can update your record. Every year, a large number of microchipped animals fail to be reunited with their owner’s as sadly, their contact details are incorrect.
As we have seen, the main reason to get your pet microchipped is to avoid the heartache of never getting your pets back if lost or stolen. At least with a microchip, there is a chance you could be reunited with your beloved pet. There are also some other reasons why animals may need to be micro-chipped:
- - Legality - Here in Wales (and like in other parts of the UK), the Welsh Assembly Government is moving towards making microchipping of dogs a legal requirement. In doing so it is possible to link every dog to an owner and it will also form part of the strategy to counteract the escalating Dangerous Dog problem here in the United Kingdom.
- - Travelling - If you wish to take your pet abroad it is essential that your pet is microchipped as part of the Pet Passport Scheme.
- - Proof of ownership – There have been scenarios in which ownership of individual animals has been in doubt. Microchipping provides some evidence in situations like this.
- - Medical benefits - Modern microchips can even be used to take your pet’s temperature using a specialised microchip reader. I’m sure your pet’s will be delighted about that as it removes the need to bring out the dreaded thermometer.
As you can see, microchipping does have its advantages but what about the downsides?
- - Pain - There is no doubt that it can hurt a little when the chip is implanted but it’s soon forgotten about.
- - Loss of microchips - The chip can fall out on rare occasions and may need to be reinserted.
- - Cost – There is a charge associated with chipping your pet that can be expensive for some.
When you consider the pros and cons, the advantages of microchipping your pet strongly outweigh the disadvantages. If you have been thinking about getting your pet microchipped, there are a number of special offers to take full advantage of throughout National Microchip Month, which gives you every incentive as a responsible pet owner to go and get it done.
Doolittle’s Dispensary also recommends that your pets are regularly vaccinated and treated for worms and fleas on a regular basis. Our health care plans are a cost effective way of ensuring that your pets remain worm and flea free. We also stock a wide range of pet products, pet meds and pet foods to help keep your pets in tip top condition.