Does your dog have a chip on its shoulder? (well, under the skin between the shoulder blades to be precise)if your dog is lost or stolen an identification chip can be a life-saver, literally. We check the chip out here…

Every year thousands of stray dogs have to be put down in Irish pounds across the country. A lot of these deaths would be avoidable if the dog was chipped and traceable back to the owner.

From 2015 you’ll be breaking the law if your dog isn’t microchipped.

How much does microchipping cost?

It was National Chipping Month in September, with a free chipping service been offered by National Chipping Month (www.ncm.ie) in combination with DogsTrust (http://www.dogstrust.ie/az/m/microchipping/#.VDOXLL1waUk) through participating vets nationwide. If you were unlucky enough to miss out, you could always see if any of the listed vets are offering an extension. If the service is no longer free, it can cost anywhere between about 20 to 50 Euro, so make sure you ask in advance so you know what you’re up for. You could also contact your local authority dog warden to see if there’s any local schemes running.

Checking your chip

If you don’t know whether your dog’s been chipped or not, take it to a vet to be scanned. If it has been chipped, you’ll need to check that it’s registered to you on a EuropePetNet affiliated database (Europe’s largest animal microchip database). Sometimes when you buy a dog that’s been chipped, the registration hasn’t been transferred to your name (for example, it might still be registered with the breeder). The main databases in Ireland are Fido, Animark and Pettrace. Fido is the one that’s most easy to update your contact details on. Ask your vet to check for you. Or, If you know your microchip registration number (a 15 digit barcode number) you can check it out yourself online to see if it’s registered on a reliable database:
http://www.fido.ie/chipchecker.jsp

Maxi Zoo also offers a chip checking service in their pet shops. You can read about the scheme here: http://www.maxizoo.ie/free-check-your-chip-service-to-help-dog-owners-protect-pets-2/

A happy ending…

We heard a heart-warming story recently from a vet whose client was reunited with their stolen dog after it turned up in a rescue centre in London a year later. It was traced back to the rightful owner through the microchip contact details.

Useful websites

Dog’s Trust has a great Q & A on microchipping your dog. Here’s the link http://www.dogstrust.ie/az/m/microchipping/#.VDOXLL1waUk