A simples guide

A guide to microchipping your pet

We’ve all heard the news about microchipping your dog – but it’s not just dogs that can be chipped. Cats, rabbits, horses and even your pet lizard can be microchipped.

But what exactly does this mean, does it hurt, is it expensive and does it come with a GPS tracker so you can spy on your pet while you’re at work?

If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions then keep going for our guide to microchipping your pet.


What is microchipping and how does it work?

A small chip (about the size of a grain of rice) is inserted into your pet – in most cases into the scruff of its neck. The chip contains a unique number which is linked to your details in a secure database, so it only really works as long as you keep your details up to date.

Where your data is stored will depend on the microchip manufacturer as each one has their own database partner, but Petlog is the largest. Petlog is also linked to 32 European databases, increasing the chances of you and your pet being reunited should it decide to go for a wander.

Sadly, your pet’s microchip doesn’t act as a GPS tracker, so if you’re curious about how your cat fills its day or where it goes after dark, you’ll have to use a good old fashioned cat-cam.


Why should I get my pet microchipped?

Microchipping dogs is now a legal requirement. If you own a dog and don’t have it chipped –if you’re caught, then you could be fined up to £500. There are only two exemptions to the microchipping rule. The first is if your dog is a working dog and has had its tail docked, and the second is if your vet thinks a chip would damage your dog’s health.

Microchipping became law on the 6 April 2016, primarily to protect dogs from mistreatment and disease associated with intensive puppy farming and neglectful owners. But it’s not just about protecting puppies, microchipping also reunites dogs with their owners – almost 100,000 of them are lost or abandoned each year.

Unless your pet is a dog you don’t legally have to have your pet microchipped. But one of the main reasons why you might want to is to reunite with your pet should it go missing or be stolen. More than 100,000 cats have been reported missing in the last 13 years, so if your Moggie likes a midnight stroll then perhaps microchipping your cat is something worth thinking about. But don’t forget other pets too



Does microchipping prove I’m the owner?

If the details linked to the microchip are yours, then you’re considered the registered ‘keeper’, that means you’re responsible for the welfare and behaviour of that animal. So if your pet doesn’t behave itself – you’re liable.

So how much does microchipping my pet cost?

It will depend on your vet and what type of pet you want chipped – some animal charities will chip for free. A dog is usually around the £15 mark but if you wanted to get your horse microchipped – you might be looking at a bit more.

Where can I get my pet microchipped?

Your vet can microchip your pet as can some larger pet stores and some animal charities. The process itself is simple but the person who does it, will need to be specially trained.

Anything else I should know?

If you’ve taken the step to microchip your pet, why not think about getting some pet insurance? Nearly 75% of all dog owners and 85% of cat owners don’t have pet insurance but with the average vet’s bill creeping upwards of £300, curing our furry friends is an expensive business.

Pet insurance doesn’t have to cost a lot, you can compare prices and policies right here at comparethemarket.com. With dozens of trusted partners such as Animal Friends and Paws and Claws and with policies starting from just £3.78 per month for cats and £3 for dogs** we can help make sure your pet stays pampered and perky.

**50% of people can achieve a premium of £3.78 a month for cats and £3 a month for dogs based on August 2016 cheapest premiums

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