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    • Ask The Expert
    • 29 Mar, 2017

    The Truth Behind Common Microchipping Myths

    Microchipping your pet is a hallmark of responsible pet ownership, and is now a legal requirement for all dogs over the age of eight weeks in England and Wales. Not only is microchipping quick, cheap and harmless, it is one of the best ways to ensure that you and your beloved companion can be reunited, should you ever become separated.

    Unfortunately some people can be put off from this mighty chip because of a few unfounded concerns or worries. We want to encourage as many people as possible to get their pets microchipped, and have addressed a few of these concerns.

    If you have been hesitant to get your pet microchipped, then please check out our responses and advice to some of the most common reasons not to get chipped.

    [link type=”primary” text=”Microchip Your Pet” url=”https://www.themayhew.org/animal-welfare/vet-clinic/microchipping/”]

    “Microchipping costs too much. I cannot afford to get my pet microchipped.”

    Microchipping is actually a very cheap procedure to do because it is quick and easy, and is inexpensive compared to the usual food and vet bills associated with dog ownership. The Mayhew’s Community Vet Clinic offers a low-cost microchipping, alongside other preventative treatments for your pet. We are even running FREE microchipping events for dogs in April with Brent Council – click here to find out more.

    Since April 2016, it’s been a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped. If you do not, then you will be served a notice requiring your dog to be microchipped, and may face criminal prosecution and a £500 fine if you do not comply, which is a lot more costly than getting your pet microchipped in the first place.

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    “I’m worried microchipping will hurt my pet.”

    Microchipping is a harmless procedure that takes seconds and is similar to giving your pet an injection. A microchip is similar in size to a grain of rice, and is implanted in the back of your pet’s neck with a small needle. Microchipping takes seconds and will only cause your pet to feel a second of shock (much like us getting our ears pierced), and many cats and dogs tolerate it incredibly well. The microchip contains a unique number that comes up when your pet is scanned with a microchip reader, and is stored on a central database with your name and contact details attached.

    “My pet always wears a collar with tags so they don’t need a microchip.”

    In the UK it is the law that all dogs in a public place must wear a collar and tag with the owner’s name, address and postcode. Though it is essential that you abide by this law, you should not guarantee that a collar alone will ensure you and your pet will be reunited, because collars can come off. The collars we recommend are designed to “break off” should your pet’s collar ever get caught on a tree branch or fence, or you might even remove the collar for bathing or grooming and then your pet might escape – accidents do happen. Microchipping is permanent and can never come off your pet, so you will be ensuring that they always have your contact details and can be reunited with you.

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    “Eventually the microchip will wear out and I’ll have to get it replaced.”

    The microchip does not have an internal battery or power source – it will never wear out or become inactive. Since it is just a chip with no battery or moving parts, it will last for your pet’s entire lifetime. Though, it is your responsibility to make sure that your contact details stored on the database are up-to-date each time you move home or change your contact details.

    “My pet is well-behaved, I don’t think I’d need to get them microchipped.”

    No matter how well-behaved or loyal your pet might be, accidents can happen and you can’t 100% guarantee that you and your pet will not be separated ever during their lifetime. If your pet was to escape or get injured, microchipping will ensure that the vets or animal wardens can find you quickly – and this could be a potentially important factor if you needed to get to their aid quickly. Sadly pet theft has been on the rise in the UK, and should your pet get stolen, then microchipping can make sure that you are rightfully reunited.

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    “My cat is an indoor cat and doesn’t need microchipping.”

    Indoor cats can escape through open windows and doors that have been left open by mistake, especially in warm and hot weather. Unneutered males and when in season, female cats that are kept indoors can also look for any means of escape to find a mate, so there is no guarantee that your cat won’t escape. It’s therefore responsible to get your indoor cat microchipped so that if the worse happens, they have a chance of being returned to you.

    If you have any other concerns or worries preventing you from getting your pet microchipped, then please feel free to contact us for further advice and guidance on microchipping. You can find out more information on microchipping here.

    At The Mayhew Animal Home our Vet Clinic offers low-cost microchipping. Please visit here to find out more, or give us a call on 020 8962 8017 to make an appointment to ensure you and your best friend stay together forever.

    During April our Animal Welfare Officers are offering free microchipping for dogs at BARK in the Park events with Brent Council. Check here for those all-important dates and addresses.
    [link type=”primary” text=”Microchip Your Pet” url=”https://www.themayhew.org/animal-welfare/vet-clinic/microchipping/”]

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