Our pets are a part of our family – we love them dearly and would hate to lose or see any harm come to them. This is why microchipping your pet is so important.
A microchip is a small electronic chip, the size of a grain of rice encased in a glass cylinder, that transmits a radio frequency when scanned. The chips transmit a unique identification number that leads to details on a registry.
Most animals can have a microchip implanted. In fact, it is easy to ask your vet to microchip your cat, dog, bird, horse, reptile or fish!
Here are the top 6 reasons to Microchip your Pet:
- It is a legal requirement.
In the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, it is mandatory to microchip your cats and dogs while in Tasmania it is only mandatory to microchip dogs. Fines or penalty notices may apply depending on which state you live in.
- Microchips are the most effective way of reconnecting lost pets with owners.
Traditional methods of collars and tags may work sometimes, however, they are easily lost or removed … and tags can fade over time. Microchips are permanent, and the most reliable method of identifying your animal.
According to a study undertaken by Science Daily, cats with microchips are 20 times more likely to be returned home than cats without, while dogs are 2.5 times more likely to be returned home than those without the special implant. These are great odds when you think about getting your beloved pet back home if they become lost.
- They are permanent!
Microchips have a lifelong guarantee – a one-off implant that ensures your pet can be identified and returned to you…but it only works when the registry is accurate. This means you must be vigilant in updating your address and phone number if you move. It is extremely important if you have bought your pet from someone else and the pet was already microchipped.
It is easy to update – you just search the microchip number online and it will direct you to the pet registry that lists your pet’s microchip number. You can then contact them to update your details. The alternative way is to ask your local vet for help. Registries are password protected and there is an application process to have such access so only you can change and update your pet’s registered details.
- Relatively pain free way of a long-term solution
When your pet is microchipped, the chip is implanted below the skin on the back of their neck through a needle no larger than that of a vaccine. It is a quick, easy and safe procedure and is no more painful than their annual shot. Many people choose to microchip their puppy/kitten at the same time as another surgical procedure, like desexing, so that their pet is under anaesthetic at the time of the implant. This allows both of the legal required pet owner responsibilities to be done at the same time.
- Affordable peace of mind
The average cost to have a microchip implanted by a veterinarian is around $45, which is a one–time fee and often includes registration in a pet recovery database.
- New chips are including innovative uses
Some chip manufacturers are enhancing the chip’s capabilities by including GPS and making pairing devices. Innovations include a doggie door that only opens to your pet’s chip reading when they approach. This can be helpful in keeping out stray critters that may follow them inside. Some manufacturers also offer lost pet alerting services and travel assistance for folks who like to take their pets along for a holiday.
Not on the list but an honourable mention is the fact that by finding pets’ current owners prevents the build-up of animals in shelters and rescue centres. When cats or dogs are impounded for too long because they can’t be identified or rehoused, the result is often, and very sadly, euthanasia. Microchipping benefits animal welfare by helping prevent the needless destruction of lost pets.