Recently the rehoming centre has been presented with a number of dogs found by members of the public which to our delight, turned out to be microchipped. However, in some cases the details on the database were that of the breeder or the owner had since moved or changed their contact telephone number.
After some detective work by our staff, we did eventually manage to re-unite some of the dogs with their owners.
We hope that by writing this blog, it will remind people to register their own details and to keep these up to date and also to dispel any myths people may have about microchipping!
Is it a legal requirment to microchip your dog?
No, however the Control of Dogs Act (1986) states that all dogs must wear a collar and identification tag while in a public place.
The owner's contact information should be clearly legible and should ideally include a contact telephone number and address.
Identification tags should be of a good quality, durable material with a solid connection to the collar.
Why should I microchip my dog?
Collars and tags can easily be removed so permanent identification such as microchipping should be considered by all dog owners.
Even if you have a secure area for your dog, there is always the possibility they may be mistakenly let out or escape. All dogs picked up by wardens, rescue organisations and those handed into veterinary practices are routinely scanned for a microchip.
We also have to face the reality that many dogs are stolen in Ireland each year. Sometimes these dogs are sold on, used for breeding or other purposes and can be found very far away from home.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID). It is composed of a tiny radio receiver and transmitter, enclosed in glass with or without a plastic coating.
How long to microchips remain active for?
Microchips generally remain active for decades.
What size is a microchip?
Microchips are approximately 12mm in length and 1mm in diameter, about the size of a grain of rice!
How does a microchip work?
The microchip lies dormt under the dog's skin, usually between the shoulder blades. When an appropriate reader is used, a radio signal is emitted to the microchip. The signal pwers it up and the chip transmits a signal containing the 15 digit number back to the reader.
So how am I contacted?
If you pet is found and scanned, their microchip number is entered into the database where your contact details have been recorded.
However, if a microchip has not been registered to the current owner, they cannot be contacted.
We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring your contact details are registered, not the breeder or rescue organisation's details. Remember that many years could pass before you pet escapes or becomes lost and at that stage, the breeder or rescue may no longer have your details. There, should you change address or phone number (especially mobile phone number) you must ensure you update your details on the database!
To check if your details are registered, simply enter your pet's microchip number on http://www.europetnet.com/ or http://www.petmaxx.com/
Where can I get my pet microchipped?
Your pet can be microchipped at any veterinary practice. The most important aspect of microchipping is that your register your details on the implanter's database. You will receive paperwork to complete this from your veterinary practicioner. Most databases allow online completion and instant registration.
If you are not comfortable with the internet and want your pet immediately registered, as your veterinary practice to assist you.
It is best practice to have your pet scanned each time he/she visits your local vet, just to ensure to chip has not moved and is still active.
Please also ensure, in the unfortunate event that your dog is taken, please report the dog as stolen to the microchip database.
Here's a link to our website where you can read more about microchipping