It is essential to ensure your pet cat or dog is microchipped. Unlike collars and dog tags, microchips cannot be removed or lost. Microchipped pets are far more likely to returned to their owners when lost.
What is a microchip? How does it work?
A microchip is a permanent method of electronic identification. The chip itself is very small – about the size of a grain of rice – and is implanted subcutaneously (just under the skin) between the shoulder blades at the back of your pet's neck. Each chip has a unique number that is detected using a microchip scanner. The microchip number is recorded on a microchip database registry with details about the animal and owner. Pet owners need to ensure their contact details are recorded on the database against their pet's microchip number. Should your pet wander or become lost, vets, animal shelters and local councils can scan your pet for a microchip and contact you via the database.
It is very important to keep your contact details up to date on the database so that if your address or phone number changes, you will still be contactable in the event of your pet becoming lost/straying.
If a pet is transferred to a new owner, the new owner must ensure their contact details are recorded on the database.
Who do I contact if I need to change my contact details with my pet's microchip registry database?
The easiest way to change your contact details is to search http://www.petaddress.com.au/ using your pet’s microchip number. Petaddress will redirect you to the database that lists your pet’s microchip number so that you may contact the microchip registry directly. Some registries provide Change of Address forms on their websites.
If you cannot find your pet’s registry by searching on pet address, please contact your vet or microchip implanter to find out which database your pet is listed in. Currently there are 5 private microchip registries and one state government registry:
Australasian Animal Registry
Central Animal Records
NSW government registry - the NSW Companion Animal Registry
Is microchipping my pet cat or dog compulsory?
In some states microchipping is mandatory for cats and dogs. Ideally your pet cat or dog should be microchipped prior to you purchasing or adopting your pet. This is the only way to effectively trace the origin of the cat/dog. However, if your pet is not yet microchipped, then we recommend you make an appointment with your vet to have your pet microchipped (even in those states where microchipping is not yet compulsory). Some local councils and animal welfare organizations can also microchip pets.
Is microchipping painful?
Microchipping is a quick (only takes a few seconds), safe and simple procedure and causes little discomfort. Some puppies and kittens may flinch or yelp as the chip is implanted; however the pain is minimal and short-lived. Most animals will forget about it very quickly. Microchipping is very important for re-uniting lost pets with their owners. Should your pet go missing, you are far more likely to be reunited if he or she is microchipped. The benefits of microchipping in terms of identifying a lost animal and reuniting them with their owner far outweigh any minimal, momentary discomfort.
When should microchipping be done?
Ideally your pet cat or dog should be microchipped prior to you purchasing or adopting your pet. This is the only way to effectively trace the origin of a cat or dog. However, if your pet is not yet microchipped, then we recommend that you make an appointment with your vet to have your pet microchipped (even in those states where microchipping is not yet compulsory). Some local councils and animal welfare organizations can also microchip pets.