The microchip is a device the size of a grain of rice that is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades on the back of the neck using a large bore needle attached to a plunger. It is a mildly painful procedure although is designed to be carried out whilst the dog is conscious. Many people chose to have their dog chipped during the time of neutering although that leaves about a 4 month period where he could go unprotected. It is a procedure that must carried out by a veterinarian or qualified person. The chip contains your information which can be accessed when the dog is scanned by a vet, welfare organisation, SPCA etc.
One in three pets will get lost at some point in their lives.
A study carried out in the USA came up with some interesting findings:
• Only about 22 percent of lost dogs that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. However, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52 percent (a 238 percent increase).
• Less than 2 percent of lost cats that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. The return-to-owner rate for microchipped cats was dramatically higher at over 38 percent (more than 2000 percent better).
• Only 58 percent of the microchipped animals’ microchips had been registered in a database with their pet parent’s contact information.
What this means practically to you is that it is a great idea to have your pet chipped and if you do it is up to you to ensure your details make it as far as the central database.