Microchips are a small rice grain sized chip that is implanted just under the skin in companion animals. They provide a permanent form of identification and will last the life of your animal. The chip itself is a non-reactive small object which has a unique number programed into it that will be linked to you and your pet.
A microchip is implanted usually under the skin between the shoulder blades using a needle. This is a simple procedure that causes no side effects. A scanner can then be used to pass over the animal’s skin and read the chip. The number can be checked against a register and the owners details can be located.
In Victoria it is compulsory for any dogs and cats sold to be microchipped. It is also compulsory for them to be microchipped when being registered with Victorian local councils for the first time, and you can receive fines if you do not comply. All cats and dogs over the age of three months must be registered with the local council. The only exemptions are in cases where placing a microchip will pose a significant risk to the animal.
Thousands of impounded cats and dogs are euthanised every year in Victoria as they cannot be identified and returned to their owners. Compulsory microchipping has and will continue to reduce these numbers.
The most important part as an owner is to remember to update your contact details, as without these being correct there is no way to trace missing animals back to their owners.
Rabbits are also able to be microchipped however it is not compulsory in these species.