Did you know that all species of animal can be microchipped? Whilst it is now a legal requirement that all dogs over 8 weeks of age are chipped, microchipping is an excellent way of permanently identifying ALL pets, and helping lost pets to be reunited with their owners.

At Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital, we see stray animals on a weekly basis that are either not microchipped or they are chipped but the registered keeper’s details have not been maintained up-to-date, and we are unable to locate the owner. Many of these animals, especially cats, remain unclaimed, which often requires us to find new homes for them.

Microchipping is a simple procedure that can be performed in a routine appointment with one of our vets or veterinary nurses for cats, dogs and rabbits. Birds, smaller mammals and some reptiles will require a quick sedation or anaesthetic prior to insertion of the chip. A special device is used to implant the tiny microchip (smaller than a grain of rice) under the skin, usually on the scruff of the neck for most species – following the same process often used to give a routine vaccination injection. The needle used is a little larger so some animals may react more than usual, but the procedure is very quick and not particularly painful.

Once the chip is implanted it should last the lifetime of your pet, with the microchips we use being designed to prevent migration around the body. The owner’s details are registered on a national database against the microchip number, and it is important to remember to keep these details updated.

Microchips have other benefits too. Special feeding devices are available that respond to programmed chip numbers, allowing pets with special dietary considerations to be fed at specified times. Cat flaps are also available that can be programmed to your pet’s chip, preventing access to your home by other cats.

To book an appointment for your pet’s microchip, please call the surgery on 01325 380111.