By 2016 every dog owner will be legally obliged to ensure that their dog is wearing a collar, identification disc and be microchipped.
Microchipping is now recognised as the most effective and secure way of permanently identifying a pet. A unique identification number is registered to the animal and the owner’s details are placed on a national database.
Sadly, the reality is that of the many thousands of dogs and cats that go missing each year, it is estimated that less than half of them are reunited with their owners. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get your pet microchipped and have the assurance that should he become lost (or be stolen), he is more likely to be returned to you safe and sound.
A microchip is a small electronic device, which is the size of a grain of rice. The microchip is coded with a unique number that can be read by a scanner. A microchip works through radio wave frequency.
Using a specially designed implanting device the microchip is injected through a sterile needle under the cat or dog’s skin.
In dogs, the microchip is implanted under the skin, between the shoulder blades.
No anaesthetic is required and the procedure should cause no more discomfort than a standard vaccination.
Once the microchip has been inserted, the pet’s body tissue surrounding the microchip attaches itself, preventing movement of the chip.
The microchip is encased in the same material (bio-compatible glass) that is used in human pacemakers. The microchip and the implanting equipment are sterilised before use, so that the dog’s body does not reject the microchip.
Microchips work when a scanner is passed over them. This is because the scanner produces low frequency radio waves that passively activate the microchip, allowing the unique number to be read.
These can be found at most veterinary practices, Local Authorities and animal welfare groups. Local Authorities and animal welfare groups use scanners to check stray dogs and cats to see if they have been microchipped. If the pet has been microchipped he can then be returned to the owner easily and quickly.
If an animal is found to have a microchip, the Local Authority, vet or animal welfare organisation contacts a national database to find the owner’s details. The owner then can be contacted and reunited with their pet. Your registration document will tell you which database has your pet registered and their contact details. If you need to make any changes to your pets registered details , such as moving house, you should contact your database operator. Owners of microchip scanners have special access to the databases to allow them to contact you if they find your pets.
Most veterinary practices in Ireland can microchip your pet, along with a growing number of Local Authorities and animal welfare groups.
You can expect to pay €20-€50 to have your pet microchipped at the vet. Alternatively you may want to contact your Local Authority Dog Warden for information on any local microchipping schemes that may be running.
The following are microchip companies in Ireland who have databases with animals and their owner’s details.
All Irish microchipped animals are registered on a European database so you can choose which company you like to register with and it will tell you which company the pet is registered to.
Animark, Fido & Pet-Trace
Information adapted from Dogstrust.ie
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