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Microchips and missing pets

January 20th 2020

Author: Sarah Butler

Microchipping is mandatory in some Australian states, but some pet owners may be unclear, or unsure about the process.

Giving your pet a microchip arms them with a permanent form of electronic identification that they can’t lose. Your pets may have a collar with their name and your phone number on it, but what happens if they lose it when they wander away from home? There should be a backup plan.

A microchip is a very small implant about the same size as a grain of rice. Your vet will insert it just under the skin at the back of your pet’s neck so it’s not visible. It holds a unique number that matches up to a database containing the details of the pet and the owner. Should your pet go missing or become lost; animal shelters, vets, or councils can scan the chip and identify you
as the owner
.

Many people think this identification method is just for dogs and cats; but other animals, from horses to rabbits and birds, can all be microchipped.

A microchip can be a saving grace for worried pet owners, but if it’s not up to date it can take
a long time to reunite pets with their owners. If you move, change phone numbers, or transfer ownership, don’t forget to update your information on the database
.

Each state in Australia has different mandates for microchipping; make sure you’re aware of the regulations in your area, as penalties could be incurred if you fail to comply. If you’re not sure if your pets were microchipped before you adopted them, check with your local vet.

An identification tag on a collar is a helpful way to track down a missing pet’s owner, but microchipping is more reliable and permanent. If you’re yet to microchip your pets, now’s the time to make an appointment with your vet.