The Importance of Microchipping your pet
Recently we have seen several animals brought into us as strays that either didn’t have a microchip, or had one, but the owners contact details were out of date. Sadly this means that we are either unable to locate their owner, or we have to use other means of trying to track them down. In some cases, social media can be very effective, but can equally be a cause for confusion when ownership is questioned.
In the UK, it became law in 2016 for all dogs to be microchipped. It is also law that your contact details are up to date. It was already law that all dogs wear a collar and identity tag. Despite these laws, we regularly come across dogs that do not tick any of these boxes!
For cats, or other animals (apart from a few breeds of tortoise), it is not yet the law for them to have a microchip, but when the cost of having one implanted is around £15, why wouldn’t you?
Yes, you could argue that there is a cost to update your details on the database on which your contact information is held, but if you weigh this up against the cost of a release fee (minimum £60) should your dog end up with the dog warden, then it’s a small price to pay.
Having said that, Identibase for example, have a couple of schemes whereby you pay a one off fee, that along with other benefits, allows you unlimited updating of your details for the life of your pet.
Financial cost aside, weigh all this up against the emotional cost of losing a much loved pet...........no question?!
One of our Veterinary Nurses Katie, knows all too well the importance of having your pet microchipped and making sure contact details are up to date. In her words, this is her story about almost losing her beloved dog Tai.
“As a Veterinary nurse, I am fully aware of the importance of keeping your contact details up to date on a dogs microchip.
Unfortunately, in May 2015, the true importance really hit home! I would like to share with you the story of my boy, Tai.
My next door neighbours were doing a lot of building work and one afternoon they were knocking through a wall. My brother opened the front door to leave the house and with that, Tai bolted!
Sadly, he ran to the main road, the A316 which has a 50mph speed limit. Tai got hit by a van AND a
car. Luckily, the traffic stopped and the van driver called the police immediately. The police arrived and shut the A316 so they could catch him safely. Tai put up a fight and kept running, but was eventually caught. He was taken by blue lights, to the nearest vets.
Unfortunately, this was not the practice I was working for at the time. Within 20 minutes of the accident, he was at a Veterinary practice where they provided first aid, but also scanned him for a microchip. Scanning for a microchip is standard with ANY stray animal at ANY practice. My details
were up to date, so the Veterinary Surgeon got hold of me immediately to explain what had happened.
Tai ended up with a Pneumothorax (a collapsed lung, which causes air to leak into the chest cavity). This meant that he could not inflate his lung properly. It is life threatening, so he needed immediate surgery to drain his chest. He also sustained wounds all along his left hand side which took months to heal. You can see his injuries in the photos below. (Please be aware before clicking on them that the first one is quite graphic).
I was extremely close to losing him. But thankfully, because my details were up to date, the veterinary surgeon could contact me and we could make a plan, before Tai deteriorated, or died.
Tai now wears his war wounds proudly. He has overcome so much, not to mention getting over his fear of walking on a road with traffic!”
So if you have a pet that doesn't have a microchip, ask yourself "Why not?"
Having read all of this, you can see that the benefits far outweigh the financial and emotional cost of losing a loved pet, not to mention that for dogs, IT IS THE LAW!
If you do nothing else today, pick up the phone and make an appointment to have your pet microchipped.
We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have, if you would like further information.
Thank you for reading!