National Microchipping Month


September is National Chipping Month.

During this month veterinary practices around the country will be working with the pet owning public to ensure that their pets are microchipped and also that the microchip details are correctly registered on an approved database. If the chip is not registered it is no good. The person you bought your dog from may have said it is ‘chipped’ – but have you made sure that the chip’s registration has been transferred to you?

It will be a legal requirement that ALL dogs are microchipped, and correctly registered to their current owner, from 2016. It makes perfect sense to have your pet identified but it will soon be illegal not to – so the advice is if you pet is not chipped then go to the vet to get it done, and if it is already chipped you need to make sure it is correctly registered to you. Your vet can help you do this. See

What is a microchip and how is it inserted?
A pet ID microchip is about the size of a small grain of rice. Each chip carries a unique 15 digit number which can be ‘read’ by a special microchip scanner which all vets, dog pounds and animal sanctuaries will have.

Under sterile conditions, the chip is injected under the skin at the base of the neck. This only takes an instant – for your pet it will feel much the same as having a vaccination injection. It can be done at a specific appointment but vets also often do it when pets come in for their Annual Health Assessment & Vaccination or when the pet is being neutered. It can be done at any age and it’s never too late to have it done.

How does the system work?
After the microchip is inserted its unique number and your contact details are registered on a reunification database. This can be done online or by post. Once this is done your pet’s microchip number will relate to you so that whoever scans the chip and searches the database can find you and let you know where your pet is.

If your pet is found and taken to a vet, animal sanctuary, dog pound etc they will be scanned for a chip. If a chip is found then you should get a call within a few minutes. If there is no chip you may never see your pet again and there is a chance he or she may be put to sleep if a new home cannot be found.

Finally, make sure that if you change your contact details or move house, you contact the database to update your details. The actual microchip is only half the equation – having the chip correctly registered is the other half, without this the chip means nothing. It’s like having a passport with no picture. No good!


Alan Rossiter

About Alan Rossiter

Alan Rossiter MVB is the 2012 President of Veterinary Ireland, the veterinary profession's representative body, and works as a vet in Blacklion Pet Hospital, Greystones, Co. Wicklow
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