Hexham Stocksfield Bellingham

Microchip my pet

Here at Orchard House Vets in Hexham, Stocksfield and Bellingham we microchip over 1,000 pets every year. During our 25 years in practice we have microchipped over 25,000 of your pets! There is a real importance to microchipping your pet, and many myths surrounding a microchip. When they were first introduced they were easy to explain and no conspiracy theories jumping on board with the hollywood notion that microchips were the earliest GPS systems and the powers that be could hear your thoughts! We discuss all things microchip during microchip awareness month!

Why microchip your pet?
Since 2016 it became law that all dogs must be microchipped. As of 10th June 2024, it will also become law in England for owned cats to be implanted with a microchip before they reach the age of 20 weeks and also requires older non-microchipped cats to also get microchipped.

  • Microchipping helps reunite more families with pets that go missing.
  • If your cat is found to not have a chip after 10th June 2024, you will have 21 days to have one implanted or may face a fine of up to £500.
  • It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure the contact details and pet information on the microchip is kept up to date on a DEFRA compliant (government standard) pet microchipping database for the lifetime of the pet.

PDSA’s Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report data 2023 report 2 showed that 12% of dog owners and 18% of cat owners stated that they did not microchip because their pet was ‘unlikely to stray’. However, we know that of the 78% of cat owners who have seen their cat experience fireworks 14% had tried to escape/run away3. Situations can occur when our companions can become spooked, and the consequence can be a flight response.

By chipping all owned cats, they are far more likely to be reunited with their keepers. In fact, accurately microchipped dogs are twice as likely to be reunited with their keepers or owners than un-microchipped dogs if they go missing. Microchipping also benefits organisations that need to identify people who sadly abandon their pets.

Do you know which microchip database your pet is registered with?
Knowing which microchip database your pet is registered with is important so that you know where to update your details should they change during the lifetime of your pet. What’s more, knowing who your pet is registered with, enables you to easily contact your database should the worst happen, and you need to inform them that your pet is missing or has been stolen.

Visit identibase and use their ‘check a chip’ tool to find out which database your pet is registered with.

Law on dog collar and ID tag
In addition to microchipping, it is also law that all dogs must wear a collar and an ID tag when out in public, whether a dog is on a lead or not. The dog tag must include the owner’s name and address. Not only do owners risk being fined up to £2,000 if their dog is not wearing a tag, but if a dog is involved in an altercation, accident or runs off/gets lost, an ID tag is the quickest way for someone to contact the owner.

Missing pets
If the pet is microchipped, then call the database that the pet is registered with. Some microchip databases, such as identibase, have additional pet protection subscription services. These provide peace of mind that should a beloved companion go missing, the communications and notifications are taken care of on your behalf during a stressful period.

Getting your pet microchipped
Microchipping is a safe, effective, and permanent way to identify individual animals and to maximise the chances of owners being successfully reunited with their pet. It is now time to act on behalf of our feline as well as canine friends. Better to be safe than sorry. Speak to us in practice to discuss the pet protection journey and what is involved.

Is it safe? Does it hurt?

Microchips are perfectly safe and any complications are extremely rare. There are plenty of myths out there, which we won’t go into as we always recommend speaking to your vet and asking them of potential dangers and if it is safe. Vets are given daily to weekly updates of the moving veterinary world and they will know best of any potential dangers of products / treatment. It also does not hurt! Some pets are more sensitive than others but it is just like a human getting blood taken! A sharp scratch!

Can I chat to a vet about this? 

We offer a free health check for all puppy and kittens so if you are joining the practice and your puppy or kitten is not microchipped then please make use of this free health check to first discuss a microchip, and we can always give the microchip during this appointment. Keeping in mind that it is law, but you should also have peace of mind about any treatment your pet receives, including microchips! If you have adopted a pet that is older but not microchipped then please get in touch!