Why Microchipping Shouldn't Be A 'Maybe'
While each year the month of June brings us the longest day of the year, the start of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and warmer weather, it also houses National Microchipping Month, a month-long reminder of the importance of having your pet microchipped. Our Education Officer discusses why microchipping is still so important.
Other than being a sure-fire contender for longest hashtag, #NationalMicrochippingMonth is an excellent way of raising awareness and continuing the conversation of microchipping our animals - but it's a conversation that needs to continue year-round.
What is microchipping?
Microchipping is a simple, speedy and completely safe procedure where a microchip the size of a grain of rice is inserted under a pet's skin. The chip carries a number unique to your pet, which is registered with a database. This holds details about your pet, as well as your own contact details - a godsend, should your pet get lost and picked up as a stray. Studies have even been conducted to prove the effectiveness of microchips in successfully reuniting lost pets with their owners - we see it often at the Home.
In the grand scheme of things, microchipping is still a fairly new form of pet identification - fortunately though, through ease of availability and changes in both attitude and legislation is one that has been widely adopted. PDSA's most recent PAW Report states that 91% of UK dogs are currently chipped, up from 70% in 2011. That does, however, still leave nearly one in ten dogs without a microchip. And cats still have a long way to go - the latest PAW Report figures show a huge 32% of cats aren't microchipped - surprising, given the free-roaming nature of our feline friends.
Why's it so important?
As mentioned above, microchipping your pets greatly increases your chances of being reunited with your beloved pet if it were to run away, get lost, or be stolen. Collars and tags serve a similar purpose, but can be removed - a microchip stays with the pet for life.
Additionally, for dogs, it's the law. The Microchipping of Dogs (Scotland) Regulations 2016 made microchipping compulsory for all dogs over eight weeks old. Failing to microchip your dog could lead to a fine of (up to) £500 and a court appearance.
So how do we get figures nearer to 100%? Simple - continue the conversation year-round, checking with other pet owners and being sure to encourage them to get their pets chipped. No one wants to go through the trauma of losing a pet - but microchipping is a big step in the right direction to them being found and identified quickly and easily.
At the Home, all animals up for adoption will be microchipped prior to rehoming - and we're proud to offer microchipping for any dog or cat that needs it, in exchange for a small donation to support our work at the Home.
If you'd like to know more about microchipping, feel free to drop in and see us at Seafield.