Don’t Lose Your Pet, Use a Microchip

One in three pets become lost at some point and a collar and tag aren’t enough. A microchip will greatly improve the chances of your lost pet being found.

One in three pets are estimated to become lost at some point during their life, and every day animals go missing or are stolen. A collar with an identification tag and the owner’s details is often a preferred method of security for cat and dog owners. However, what happens if the pet loses it, or it’s removed?

Microchipping is a simple solution to this problem, drastically increasing the chances of a pet and its owner being reunited. It also significantly reduces the stress on the pet parent. Using both microchipping and a collar with an ID tag with a phone number will substantially improve the safe recovery of your pet.

Dogs must be microchipped by law

A microchip is a tiny piece of technology the size of a grain of rice that contains information linked to the New Zealand Companion Animal Register (NZCAR). The chip takes only seconds to insert – almost painlessly – under your pet’s skin by your veterinarian. Aside from being a great benefit for pet owners, microchipping is also required by law in New Zealand for any dogs registered for the first time, with the exception of working farm dogs. Cats aren’t required to be microchipped by law, although it does make good practical sense to do this anyway.

If a dog or cat gets lost and is picked up by a member of the public who doesn’t recognise the animal, the person will usually take the pet to the closest shelter or vet clinic. Here, the animal is immediately scanned for a microchip. If the pet is registered and on the NZCAR database, the owner’s details pop up. They will be notified where their pet is and they can quickly be reunited with their furry friend.

Microchipped pets recovered more easily

In the event of a natural disaster, many animals flee in panic, resulting in many lost pets. Microchipping can help recover these scared animals. Following the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, for example, 85 per cent of microchipped animals were reunited with their owners, compared with a rate of just 15 per cent for those without chips.

The community also benefits from microchipping; specifically where a dog that has been classed as dangerous or menacing can be more easily identified. Sometimes the owners of an aggressive dog will attempt to disguise its identity, which may result in a later injury to a person. Microchipping lets the dog be identified easily on the national database by vets or council officers and dealt with appropriately.

Minuscule, affordable, and safe to insert by professional veterinarians, the microchip will last for the lifespan of a pet and offers many benefits. By microchipping, you can relax knowing your pet has an additional safety net in the event of an animal escapade.