Microchips for dogs

A microchip is a small chip that is encapsulated in tiny sterile container about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted via a special syringe underneath the skin of your dog’s back. It is usually located under the skin between the shoulder blades. A microchip uses passive RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. The microchip has no power source, so needs a scanner to provide power to the chip in order for it to be read.

Why should I microchip my dog?

Microchipping is the best form of permanent identification that is available for your dog from Beagles to Groodles. Unlike tags, they cannot be simply removed or lost by your dog so will stay with them for life (and death). They are also less painful than the ear tattoos used by some breeders for identification and will not blur as some tattoos do over time.

Will a microchip affect my dog?

Barring very rare complications resulting from the implanting process, microchips do not cause any adverse affects to your dog. A study in the UK has found complications in about 1 in a million pets implanted with a microchip after 3.5 million animals had them implanted so the risks are very small.

How do my details get on the chip?

Your details will never get on the chip. The only information on the chip is the microchip number. This number is registered with a central body in your country and they hold the details of the registered owners of the dog with the chip. When you take ownership of your dog, you or the breeder will transfer ownership into your name by submitting a form to the central body responsible for recording the data and they keep your details on file as the owners of the dog. If a shelter, pound, vet etc receive your lost dog, they simply need to scan your dog and contact the central body to get your contact details to let you know where you need to go to collect your dog.

Can I locate my microchipped dog anywhere he is?

No. The microchip has no GPS capabilities and cannot be used as a beacon to locate lost pets. Your dog’s microchip needs to be scanned to be identified.

Are microchips compulsory?

Depending on where you live it may be compulsory to have your dog microchipped. In the state of Victoria, Australia for example it is compulsory to have a microchip in all puppies sold or given away. If you do live in Victoria or are buying a puppy from Victoria, your puppy must be microchipped by law.

How do I know if a puppy has a microchip?

When you take ownership of your puppy, you will be required to fill out a change of ownership form that will have the microchip number on a sticker attached to the form or the microchip number written on the form. You can also ask that the puppy is scanned in front of you to make sure you are signing over the right chip number for your puppy.

What if my contact details change?

If your contact details change, then you must notify the central microchipping body who has registered your dog’s microchip of the changes as soon as possible to keep your details current in case your dog is lost.

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