Microchipping is a simple safe and quick procedure. It can make all the difference in being reunited with your pet should they stray or go missing. Many pets can be microchipped including cats, dogs, rabbits and horses. Since 1st January 2013 all dogs in Northern Ireland must be microchipped at eight weeks old. And all dogs must be microchipped before an owner can apply for a dog licence.

How it works

The microchip is the size of a grain of rice and the procedure, which is carried out by a vet or trained microchip implanter, takes only a few minutes and lasts a lifetime. This gives the pet their own unique code. Thousands of pets are lost every year and many are never reunited with their owners, microchipping can change that. Once your pet is microchipped, you and your pet’s details are stored in a microchip database along with the microchip’s unique 15 digit code. When a missing pet is found, an animal professional (for example a vet or dog warden) will scan the pet revealing the microchip’s unique 15 digit code, and contact the microchip database your pet is registered with. The customer care staff will perform some security checks before releasing your contact details to the animal professional – so that your pet can be reunited with you.

You should always call the microchip database where your contact details are held to notify them that your pet has gone missing. The microchip database should send out alerts to local vets and dog wardens on your behalf.