Microchipping is the latest technology in permanently identifying your pet. It is an excellent way of matching an animal to its owner.
The size of a grain of rice, the chip is placed beneath the skin (see chart below for location in each species) by needle application either consciously or whilst the animal is already under anaesthetic.
The chip itself is cased in a special container which is designed to not have any toxic effects on the body, it is also airtight preventing any moisture entering it and has an anti-migratory structure which means it will not move around the body.
Animals are not physically or behaviourally affected by the chip and it is only in rare circumstances that there is a reaction. The chip is a passive device that does not act until a microchip scanner is passed over it; at this point the chip is ‘read’.
Each chip has an individual number, which is logged along with all your contact details and stored on a national database.
If your pet is missing it is a very worrying time. When your pet is picked up and taken to the authorities it will be routinely scanned for a microchip. The database is contacted and the chip number given, allowing your details to be accessed and used to reunite you and your pet.
If you are thinking about taking your pet abroad with you then a microchip will be necessary as the UK Government choose microchipping as the means of identifying your pet under the PET Passport Scheme. It is used as proof that each vaccination record corresponds to the correct animal.
IdENTICHIP® manufactured by Animalcare and Tracer® Advance manufactured by Bayer are two of the microchips available.
There are two types of IdENTICHIP®, which are the Standard and Bio-Thermo®. The benefit of the Bio-Thermo®. chip is that it also includes a thermometer, which reads your pets body temperature when scanned. This saves a rectal thermometer being used during routine health checks and reduces stress for all involved!
The IdENTICHIP® holds the electronic chip in a soda lime glass case where as the Tracer®is encapsulated in a bio-polymer non-glass material which is claimed to be stronger and lighter than the IdENTICHIP®.
There are now cat-flaps available which read your pet's microchip number when they are close by thus having many advantages. By programming your cat’s microchip numbers into the cat-flap system, it will only recognise the pets allowed into the house thus saving unwanted feline visitors! Some brands also allow you to decide at what time the cats are allowed out according to the natural light level. If you want to keep them in over-night then you can program the cat-flap so that it stays closed thus knowing they are safe and secure.
The Pet Porte flaps (manufactured by Pet Porte Ltd) allows storage for up to 12 microchip numbers whereas the Sure Flap® (manufactured by Animalcare) holds up to 32.
Pet Porte’s website allows you to enter your cats microchip number on screen so that you know that it will work for your cat before purchasing. They cover most 15 digit microchips inserted in the UK and rest of Europe but not the 10 digit American chips.
Also the SureFlap® runs on battery power but the Pet Porte® runs on mains electric (with an extension lead if needed) so you are able to choose one that best suits your lifestyle and door design.
Species Location of chip;
Cat : In the scruff of the neck between the shoulder blades