Micro-chipping – FAQs

Soopa Pets

I’m sure you’re aware by now of the new legislation that requires all dogs to be micro-chipped and their correct details registered by April 1 2016.
Soopa is 100% behind this legislation as it really is the cheapest, easiest way to reunite pets and their families should should something happen. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney says it will protect the welfare of dogs, assist in reuniting dogs with their owners and act as a deterrent for those who abandon dogs as the chip can be traced back to them.

This really is a great step forward in protecting our loved ones. So even if you heard the news already, you may still have some questions about what micro-chipping is exactly. Please find answers to some of the most common questions below:

What is a microchip?
A microchip is a tiny electronic device which is about the size of a grain of rice. It has a unique number which is read by a scanner. Only professionals can access the information on the chip.

How does it work?
Every microchip has a unique 15 digit number. A scanner is used to read the number on the chip, through the skin, using radio signals. This all takes place in 1-2 seconds. The number is the only piece of information on the microchip. After the number has been scanned, a vet or other official, can consult a secure online database to obtain the owners details.

Does it have GPS?
Unfortunately, no. A microchip is not a GPS tracker and cannot tell you where your dog is, should they go missing, it can only identify you should the dog be found.

How and where is it implanted?
The microchip is implanted under the skin, between the shoulder blades, using a specifically designed sterile needle.

Will it hurt my dog?
Usually the microchip is implanted in puppies at the same time they are being spayed or neutered so they are under anaesthetic which prevents any sensation of pain. However, if they are being chipped at a different time, your dog will only feel a pinch and slight discomfort, they same as any standard vaccination. A local anaesthetic can be given if vet deems necessary.

Will the Microchip stay in one place?
Once inserted, the tissue surrounding the microchip attaches to the chip and holds it in place. Sometimes however the chip may slip but veterinarians are totally aware of this. When scanning a dog they start between the shoulder blades, but work the scanner all the way down to the feet and the bum! Just in case.

How long will the chip last?
Once implanted, the tissue surrounding the chip holds it in place. It will stay here for the rest of your pets lifetime. It will not pass out or through the body and does not require and maintenance or special care.

What age can my dog be micro-chipped?
Your dog can be micro-chipped at any age, but under the new legislation all puppies over the age of 12 weeks MUST be chipped

How much does it cost?
It can cost anywhere from €20-€50, depending on where you get it done. Most Animal welfare groups will have dogs chipped before they are re-homed and some even run free or reduced cost micro-chipping days. Breeders may also have the puppies micro-chipped, but please check documentation, have your vet scan the chip and ensure you register the chip details to your own name!

Who has a scanner?
Most veterinary practices, animal welfare groups and local authorities will have access to a scanner and the online database.

What details are stored in the database?
The owners name and address and telephone number are in the registry along with the age, name, breed and sex of the dog. All of this information is vital in ensuring the dog is reunited to the right person as fast as possible. Your personal details are not available to the public. Please ensure you update any information as soon as possible e.g. new phone number or address.

Where can I get my dog Micro-chipped?

Most veterinary practices in can micro chip your dog. Animal welfare groups will often have all dogs chipped before they re home them and some even run free or reduced cost micro-chipping days to help get your dog chipped.

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