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The latest on pet microchipping

Since April 2016, the microchipping of dogs in the UK has been a requirement by law, and vets and shelters recommend microchipping cats, as well as dogs, as the most effective form of pet identification. Here we take a look at the latest views on microchipping from dog and cat owners.

Microchipping knowledge

The 2019 PDSA Paw Report has revealed that, in spite of the new law, 16% of dog owners don’t know that dog microchipping is compulsory. However, many dog owners are recognising the importance of microchipping their dog, with 92% of dog owners reporting that their dog is microchipped, so even some of those who aren’t aware of the law are taking action.

Two of the main reasons that pet owners are not microchipping their dogs are that the pet does not go out unsupervised and that the dog carries an ID tag. Even if the dog is supervised, an incident could happen that scares the dog and causes them to bolt and become lost. And an ID tag is not a fool-proof form of identification. A lost dog could lose their collar and tag, whereas it’s impossible for a microchip to become lost.

Microchipping procedure

Microchipping is a simple procedure that does not require an anaesthetic, which involves a microchip being injected under the skin of the pet. Microchips are very small, about the size of a grain of rice, and the procedure is quick. A microchip will stay with the animal for its lifetime, and unlike a collar and tag, it cannot become lost.

Update your details

Some pet owners are forgetting to update their contact details associated with their pet’s microchip when they move house. In 2019, according to the PDSA Paw Report, one in twenty dog owners reported that they had a change in details, but they have not updated the microchipping database to reflect them. This means that there could be as many as half a million dogs in the UK with incorrect details associated with their microchip, making their microchips redundant. The number is even higher for cats. Last year, over 800,000 cats reportedly had incorrect information associated with their microchips.

If you are moving house, or changing your phone number, update the details in the microchipping database as soon as possible. After all, moving house could be the time that your pet is most likely to get lost whilst they acclimatise to their new environment. It doesn’t take long to update the details, and it could save a lot of heartache if your pet does go missing during a house move.

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