Thousands of pets are lost every year and many are never reunited with their owners. It is sensible to attach a name tag to dogs' and cats' collars as a first line of identification but these are often lost or defaced and an identity chip provides critical backup. Identity chips also give proof of ownership if your pet is stolen and it's not just dogs and cats that can benefit. They can be used on virtually any animal including birds and reptiles.
From April 2016 microchipping for dogs became law and penalties will be imposed on owners who do not comply or who fail to keep their registration details up to date.
What is an identity chip?
The identity chip consists of an inert transponder not much bigger than a grain of rice (an example is pictured above). This needs no power supply, so it lasts indefinitely and is activated by a signal from the chip reader. Chips are pre-loaded in a needle and easily injected under the skin of your pet. The procedure is virtually painless and leaves no mark. The number on the chip is unique and cannot be replicated anywhere in the world. This makes it an infallible form of identification. Information about your pet and your contact details are held on an international database, and logged against the chip number. This information can be retrieved in seconds of the chip being read by a hand-held scanner and you could be re-united with your pet in minutes. Virtually all vets, police forces, dog wardens, rescue centres and animal charities have microchip readers.
Identichips are very reliable and there are very few instances of them failing. As they are usually inserted in the soft tissue between the shoulder blades there is little risk of them being damaged.
How do I register my pet's details on the database?
At St Martins Veterinary Clinic we register the chip details on-line for you as soon as it is inserted so your registration is active immediately. Alternatively a registration form can be completed and posted but this takes a little longer. Once the registration is confirmed you will receive a password so you can enter the database to change some of your registration details.
How much does it cost to microchip my pet?
We use only the best and most reliable microchips - idENTICHIP. A basic identity chip at St Martins Vet Clinic costs just £15.99* + VAT. This includes the cost of insertion and lifelong registration. If you need to change your name or address, identity will be required and a small charge as a security measure. The microchip company may offer a club membership for a minimal charge to reduce this cost if you move home frequently. Beware of organisations offering cheap or free chips, these are often poorer quality chips given away to promote another service, are unreliable and may not be registered on national databases.
My pet was microchipped before I got him/her, how can I change the details?
The core details on the chip cannot be changed without the permission of the previous owner for obvious security reasons. In the odd case where an animal is rehomed from a charity or from a deceased relative for example, a security process needs to be undertaken. We can identify the relevant chip database by scanning your pet and give you their contact details.
idENTICHIP Bio -Thermo Chips and mini-chips
Bio -Thermo chips are identity chips with a built in thermometer. When scanned, the body temperature appears instantly on the hand-held reader which removes the need to use a rectal thermometer which is sure to please your pet! Bio -Thermo chips only cost £30* + VAT and are otherwise identical to the standard Identichip. Mini-chips are smaller and cause less discomfort on implantation but are only suitable for cats and small pets, these cost £24.99. An extra fee may be charged for inserting chips into birds and reptiles,
Microchip operated cat flaps
Cat flaps which can only be unlocked with your cat's micro-chip are available. This is an excellent security feature if you are bothered by neighbouring or stray cats coming through your cat flap. We recommend Sureflap as these are the only ones that will operate with all chips however min-chips may not be powerful enough to activate a cat flap.
* prices are correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change
St Martins Veterinary Clinic
126 Station Road
Tel.: 01895 444400
Fax: 01895 431520
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