Pet Care Corner: Microchips in Domestic Animals

Pet Care Corner: Microchips in Domestic Animals

Most microchips have anti-migration features to ensure that the chip remains in the same place where it is inserted by bonding with the tissue under the animal’s skin.

The Boksburg SPCA manager shares the following information on microchips:

What do they do?

The sole function of a microchip is to store a unique ID number that is used to retrieve the pets’ owner’s contact information.

How does this work?

When a microchip scanner is passed over the skin of a micro-chipped pet, the implanted chip emits a radio frequency signal that allows the scanner to read the microchip number.

  • What happens then?

The SPCA telephonically contacts the company of the microchip (Identipet/Five Star, etc) and gives the unique number that will allow the company to go into their database and retrieve the contact details of the animal’s owner. When a microchip is inserted into an animal it is vital that the owner’s contact details are recorded and put into a recovery database.

  • Does this always happen?

Sadly no, the Boksburg SPCA does receive a number of cats and dogs that have had a microchip inserted but, when the database is contacted to allow us to obtain the owner’s details, we find the chip has not been registered. This is very frustrating for the SPCA as it means we are unable to trace the owner and an expensive lesson for the owner as the microchip is actually useless.

  • Where can I get my pet micro-chipped?

Most veterinarians will carry out micro-chipping for pet owners and the Boksburg SPCA also does this function. We also ensure that the chip is registered for the owner.

  • What happens if my contact details change?

As important as it is to ensure that a microchip is actually registered it is equally important that any changes in the contact details of the owner is immediately sent to the microchip database so that these changes can be made and the owner can still be reached in cases where the animal is lost and then found with its microchip.

  • Why else is it a good idea to microchip my pet/s?

Having a pet micro-chipped can prove ownership in cases where animals have been stolen – as long as the chip is registered in the owner’s name and with their correct details.