If you are a first-time dog owner, you might not be fully aware of just how important it is to have your dog microchipped. If your dog (or cat) is properly microchipped, it can mean the difference between finding your pet after a few days apart and never seeing it again. Keep reading to learn more about why you should get your dog microchipped as soon as possible.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a form of permanent, electronic identification. Microchips are tiny– they are about the size of a grain of rice – and they are implanted between the shoulder blades, underneath the skin. Each microchip has a unique number that is listed on a database.
When you microchip your dog, your name and contact information is then listed under your dog’s number in the database. If your dog becomes lost or runs away and is found away from your area, a veterinarian or vet tech can quickly scan the microchip, check the number, and then find your contact information and give you a call. If you happen to find a lost dog or cat, you can take them to a vet clinic or animal shelter, and they will be able to check to see if the animal is microchipped.
Getting your dog microchipped
To have your dog microchipped, you can visit any of the registered vets across Australia, such as Greencross Vets. A trained veterinarian will insert a microchip, and then you can log into a database for your pet and input your name and contact information. The process will only take a few minutes, and you can rest assured that it is a relatively painless procedure for your dog.
If your dog was previously owned or you have adopted your dog from a shelter, there is a chance that your pet has already been microchipped. That just means you will need to update your pet’s information in the database. If you move or change your email or phone number, you also need to update the database with your new contact information to ensure accuracy.
Why is microchipping important?
If your dog is microchipped, it is much easier for the two of you to be reunited following a separation. Checking a microchip and referencing the microchip database only takes a handful of minutes. On the other hand, if your dog is not microchipped, you will likely spend a lot of time leafletting your neighbourhood, calling around to every local clinic, and walking through your area calling out your dog’s name.
In Australia, microchipping for dogs is compulsory in Tasmania and is mandatory for both cats and dogs in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, and South Australia. However, regardless of whichstate you live in, microchipping your dog as soon as possible is the best way to ensure that you and your dog will be quickly and safely reunited should you ever be separated.