1. What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small electronic device, which is the size of a grain of rice. The microchip is coded with a unique number that can be read by a scanner. A microchip works through radio wave frequency.
2. How is the microchip implanted?
Using a specially designed implanting device the microchip is injected through a sterile needle under the dog’s skin.
3. Where is the microchip implanted?
In dogs, the microchip is implanted under the skin, between the shoulder blades.
4. Does it hurt?
No anaesthetic is required and the procedure should cause no more discomfort than a standard vaccination.
5. How does the microchip stay in place?
Once the microchip has been inserted, the dog’s body tissue surrounding the microchip attaches itself, preventing movement of the chip.
6. Could my dog be allergic to the microchip?
The microchip is inert and biocompatible. There is virtually no chance of the body developing an allergy or trying to reject the microchip after being implanted.
7. How does the microchip work?
The computer memory in the microchip contains a unique 15 digit number – no two dogs will ever get the same number. Apart from the number the chip contains no other information. A radio signal transmitted from a scanner is used to read this number through the skin of your pet. In addition to the number, the microchip generates a reliability check to guarantee that your pet’s identifying number is read accurately. This all takes place in less than a second. After the scan the vet consults a database to find a matching number and thereby obtain the owner’s contact details.
8. Who has a scanner?
These can be found at most veterinary practices, Local Authorities and animal welfare groups. Local Authorities and animal welfare groups use scanners to check stray dogs to see if they have been microchipped. If the dog has been microchipped the dog can then be returned to the owner easily and quickly.
9. How are the owners traced?
If a dog is found to have a microchip, the Local Authority or vet contacts a national database to find the owner’s details. The owner then can be contacted and reunited with their dog. Your registration document will tell you which database has your dog registered and their contact details. If you need to make any changes to your dogs registered details, such as moving house, you should contact your database operator. Owners of microchip scanners have special access to the databases to allow them to contact you if they find your dog.
10. Where can I get my dog microchipped?
Most veterinary practices in Ireland can microchip your dog.
11. How much does it usually cost?
You can expect to pay €20 to have your dog microchipped at most of the veterinary practices.
12. How long does a microchip last?
Once injected under the skin of your dog, the microchip becomes encased by a thin layer of protein which anchors it in place for the rest of the life of your pet. It does not pass through or out of the body. The microchip itself has no power supply to replace or moving parts to wear down.
13. At what age can a dog be microchipped?
Dogs of any age can be injected with a microchip. However you should consult your vet and ask their advice.