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Microchipping of all dogs is now required by law under the Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 63 of 2015). From September 2015, all newborn pups are legally required to be microchipped and registered with an authorised database. This applies to all dogs from 31st March 2016.

Micro-chipping is a simple and effective way to make sure that your pet can be easily identified should you become separated. A small microchip, (about the size of a grain of rice) is inserted under the loose skin on the back of your pet’s neck.

Your pet is registered on an authorised database that has been approved by the Dept of Agriculture, Food & Marine. A hand-held scanner at the nearest veterinary surgery or dog pound can easily read the chip when your pet is found and you will be reunited. Microchips for pets are about the size of a rice grain and are placed beneath the skin at a specific point by injection. Encoded on a the chip is a specific code number unique to the pet which is registered along with details of it’s breed, sex, age and most importantly the owners name, address and telephone numbers.

The main benefit of having them are that should your pet ever be lost or a dispute over ownership arise there is a quick and reliable way to establish the rightful owner. Pets can stray out of a garden when a gate is left open or if they manage to scale the wall or fence; they may be distracted on a walk and disappear away after wildlife or with other pets; sometimes they are injured while out on their own and may be brought to a vets surgery or a dog pound. In all these situations the quicker the owner can be reunited with the pet the less stress the pet will suffer. It is also very frustrating for Vets to have an animal brought in having been found wandering and having no way of identifying it although it may obviously be somebody’s well loved pet.

A combination of a microchip and an identity tag is probably the best solution to the problem.