What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a small transmitter, approximately the size of a grain of rice, inserted under the skin in the area above the shoulder blades of your pet.
When scanned with a small, handheld microchip scanner, a number unique to your pet is obtained. This number can then be entered into a database and the information about the pet and it's owner obtained.
It is possible to microchip cats, dogs and birds. Many farm animals and exotic zoo animals are also microchipped.
Microchipping is a very reliable way of identifying an individual and it is an excellent way of finding contact details for a pet's owner.
Do I have to Microchip my pet?
Legally, all newly registered dogs must be microchipped and this number is then stored on the council's database. We recommend the microchip number is also registered on the Companion Animal Register (more about this below).
Following the earthquakes in Canterbury, the effectiveness of microchips has become readily apparent and many cat owners are chosing to microchip their cats too!
Where is the Microchip put?
The microchip is placed under the skin just in front of the shoulder blades on the back of the neck using a special microchip implanter. This is the internationally recognised site for microchips in cats and dogs. It is placed by injection much as you would a vaccination. It is a very quick procedure and can be done in the consult room.
Does it hurt?
Most animals will be distracted from the injection with treats or cuddles but occasionally some animals will feel the needle more than others and may make a noise of discomfort. Occasionally some will wiggle or look around to see what has happened. This is usually brief. Local anaesthetic may be administered to reduce sensation and we are happy to use this if requested, although sometimes it is difficult to know whether the brief sting of the microchip is worse than the brief sting of the local anaesthetic! Once the microchip is settled in place it should not cause discomfort.
What about the databases?
We recommend putting your pet's microchip number on the Companion Animal Register.The advantage of registering on this database is that it is accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days per week by Veterinary Practices across the country and by the S.P.C.A.
The Companion Animal Register is endorsed by the S.P.C.A, the New Zealand Veterinary Association, the NZ Companion Animal Council, the Cat Fanciers Club and the New Zealand Kennel Club.
Your dog's microchip should also be registered on the council's database. We can provide a certificate for this.
The council's database is not accessible by veterinarians and if the council is closed it is not possible for them to help us reunite a dog with it's owner. This is a limitation of that database in an emergency or 'out of hours' situation. Cats are also not registered on the council database.
What we recommend:
If you would like your cat microchipped- phone the clinic and make an appointment time. Bring with you your contact details and the contact details of a family member or friend that you would like as an alternative contact, including cell phone numbers (and don't forget your cat! :-)). We will help you with the rest.
If you would like your dog microchipped- phone the clinic and make an appointment time. Bring with you your contact details and the contact details of a family member or friend that you would like as an alternative contact, including cell phone numbers (and don't forget your dog! :-)). We will help you with the rest including a certificate for the council's database also.
If your dog is already microchipped then once we have scanned the microchip we can register the number on the Companion Animal Registration, a second microchip is not required.Please phone for a time to organise this.