Puppy & Dog Microchipping Advice & Tips
As a responsible pet owner, it's important to make sure your furry friend is always safe and accounted for. That's why microchipping your dog or puppy is such an important step in guaranteeing their well-being. Here, we'll provide some advice on the basics of puppy and dog microchipping, including what to expect and how to prepare.
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a tiny computer chip that stores your contact details. The chip itself is about the size of a grain of rice and is injected under your dog's skin, usually between the shoulder blades. Each microchip has a unique number that corresponds to an online database listing where your contact information is stored.
Why Should I Get My Dog Microchipped?
From April 2016, it became compulsory by UK law for all dog owners to have their pets microchipped. This is to help reunite lost dogs with their owners and to clamp down on the number of strays. If your dog is found without a microchip, you could be fined up to £500.
Common Side Effects of Microchipping a Dog
Bleeding and Discomfort
The most common side effect of microchipping a dog is bleeding at the implant site, and some mild discomfort during the procedure. The discomfort your pet feels will be no worse than that felt during a booster injection as the needle is not much bigger.
If you’ve ever seen a dog fitted with a microchip, you will see that their discomfort is minimal. A little bleeding around the site might also occur, but this can be stopped by applying light pressure.
Infections or Hair Loss
In rare cases, your dog might develop an infection at the implant site, and this can lead to abscesses if left untreated. To help your pet’s implant site to heal properly, keep the area clean and stop him from being too active in the hours following the procedure. Hair loss can occur as a result of the infection, so you should keep an eye on your pet and report any adverse reactions to your vet or implanter.
By far the most common side effect of microchipping a dog is microchip migration. Your dog will most likely have its implant placed on the scruff of its neck, or on its shoulder. Implants can occasionally migrate to other parts of the body, and implants have been known to show up in the stomach region.
Migration usually happens in the first couple of weeks, before the chip has a chance to settle. SmartBreeder microchips feature a special coating that provides an irregular surface called Parylene C coating. This uses biotechnology to encourage cells to bind to the microchip and keep it in place.
How To Change Owner On Your Dog Microchip
The process is similar to the process for a dog microchip change of address, but instead of changing the address, you will also need to update the ownership and take over the microchip account.
Change the owner is sometimes known as transfer of keepership, and not many people know that it is a legal requirement in the UK.
Many people assume that the dog microchipping laws mean that the dog only has to be fitted with a chip, but it is also important for the dog's microchip details to be up to date.
How to Find Your Dog's Microchip Number
The first step is to find out if your dog is microchipped and then find out what his microchip number is. You can either visit a local vet to ask them to scan your pet or you can check the animal’s vet records and documents for a microchip number.
Your pet’s microchip number will be between 9 and 15 digits long and may contain just numbers or a combination of letters and numbers.
Once you have the number you will need to locate the database the pet is registered with in order to update the owner's details. If you try to simply register the microchip number to a new database, it won’t work if the database is the same. If you try to register to another database, it could result in duplicate conflicting entries, which will cause problems reuniting you with your pet if it goes missing.
If you would like to change the owner on a dog microchip registered to SmartChip you will need to answer some security questions in order to verify you are authorised to take ownership of the chip. If you are unable to do this, then you can call the team and we will attempt to locate the owner using the details we have on file.
Since there isn’t a central dog microchip database, updating it once doesn’t mean that the changes will be copied everywhere, so it’s worth checking around to see if your dog’s microchip details are registered anywhere else.
Dog Microchipping Costs
How much does it cost to get a dog microchipped?
Not only is getting your pets microchipped essential, but owners must also keep their details up-to-date or they could face similar fines. A common question that people as is, how much does it cost to get a dog microchip?
The cost of microchipping is very low, with some places even offering the service for free. Most places that offer dog microchipping will charge around £10-£15 for the service, which should include the implant, a qualified technician to fit it and registration to an approved database.
Essential questions to ask
- It’s important that the person fitting the chip is trained and qualified to do so. Beware of mobile services offering lower than average prices, and always ask to see their qualifications before letting them implant any microchips. If you are wary, always remind yourself: how much does it cost to get a dog microchip? If the person is offering an unrealistically low price, it’s probably best to stay away.
- Check which microchips they use, as some might not be picked up by microchip scanners in the UK, which means if your pet is ever lost, anyone that finds your pet will struggle to find their microchip number. All SmartBreeder microchips are ISO 11874/11785 compatible and can be picked up by FDX-B and Universal microchip scanners alike.