Why microchipping matters

Having moved to Aran Vets nearly 6 months ago, and lived with the in-laws since, I'm finally in the process of moving into my own house! There's a long list of things to be done, including letting people know our new address. There are all the usual obvious places – the utility companies, the bank, our families (!), but as a vet, the one the sticks out in my mind is making sure the microchip database is updated. My cat Llew is microchipped, and I know that if in the unfortunate event he was ever to go missing, his microchip gives us the best chance of being reunited. Even though he doesn't go out much, I know it's still important for him to have his chip.

For those not familiar with microchips, there's a short and sweet explanation here. It's going to be a legal requirement from the 6th of April this year for all dogs to be microchipped and dog owners could be faced with hefty fines if they choose to flout the law! That's a great reason to get your dog microchipped, but for many of us the thought of what could happen if our pet goes missing is even more important.

The thought of Llew being left at a rescue centre wondering where I was, or worse being alone having emergency treatment at a vets whilst I knew nothing about it, really does make me feel sick!  Luckily, I know that because of his chip, that will never happen. Unlike a collar or an ID tag, he can never lose his chip. No matter how poorly he was, any warden, rescue centre or vets would be able to instantly identify him and contact me straight away.

As a vet, when I see a stray animal, I always breathe a sigh of relief when we pass the scanner over them and that little beep tells us that they are chipped. It means they have a loving family waiting for them to come home. As long as the details on the database are up to date, I can call straight away and let the family know that their pet is here safe and sound with us.  A microchip is inexpensive and easy to place. I know the peace of mind it gives me as an owner, and a vet, is priceless – well worth it's extra teeny tiny weight in gold!