All pet dogs first registered after 2006 are now required to be microchipped. Many cat and rabbit owners are routinely microchipping their pets too.
Microchipping provides a permanent way of identifying your animal, even if they lose their collar. Veterinary clinics, animal shelters and district councils have microchip scanners that allow them to identify your animal.
Dog owners must provide the council with their microchip details, and can choose to also put their pet on the animal register website / national database. The national database is preferable as this will allow animals to be identified anywhere around the country. Cat and rabbit owners can only register microchips on the national database.
Contrary to some beliefs a microchip is not a tracking device and does not contain any further information apart from the animal's ID number. This is why the database records are essential.
Inserting a microchip is quick and easy, and can be performed either within a consultation or when your animal is already under anaesthesia, such as at desexing. It involves injecting a small chip under the skin.
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