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Pet Care Advice > Microchipping

A microchip is recommended by the RSPCA as an effective way of permanently linking pets to their owners, increasing the chances of them being reunited if the animal is lost, stolen or strays.

Thousands of pets are lost every year and many are never reunited with their owners. We believe that the best way to ensure a lost pet is found is to have it microchipped - implanted with a special microchip tag.

How does microchipping work?

Microchipping provides a fast, fool-proof way of identifying lost or stolen pets. Once an animal has been microchipped it has its own unique code number. The owner's details and the code are put on to a national database. If a lost or stolen animal is found, the code will be revealed by passing a scanner over the microchip. Then it's just a matter of using the database to match the code with the owner’s details.

Is microchipping popular with pet owners?

More than 450,000 animals have been microchipped in the past five years in the UK alone. It is the Bristol Dogs and Cats Home's policy to chip all cats, dogs and ferrets before rehoming.

Who will scan my pet if it goes missing?

Most animal welfare organisations, vets and dog wardens, have scanners which can read the microchip's details. The RSPCA Bristol Clinic and the Dogs and Cats Home have a policy of scanning every stray animal that comes through our doors – finding a chip means we can re-unite the animal with its owner as quickly as possible.

Is microchipping easy to do?

Yes, it's as simple as an injection. A tiny microchip - the size of a grain of rice - is inserted under the animal's skin. Once in, the chip cannot move or be seen, but can be read by the scanner.

Where can I have my pet microchipped?

Most veterinary practices will offer a microchipping service, or our RSPCA Bristol Clinic can microchip your pet for just £10 (£5 if you are on a low income or FREE with cat and dog neutering).

My dog has a collar tag so why should it be microchipped?

By law all dogs have to wear a collar with a tag showing its owner's name and address. But collars can break, identification tags fall off and get lost. Microchips identify your pet permanently and harmlessly.

Should I get my cat microchipped?

Of course! Cats are even more likely to wander off and get lost than dogs. Even if your cat is old, you should consider having a microchip implanted. Many of the “stray” cats brought the RSPCA Bristol Animal Clinic because the finder thinks they are ill or lost, are simply elderly felines out for a walk! Sadly some of these are never claimed – microchipping would enable us to contact the owner straight away, and get them safely back home.

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