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If you’ve recently taken in a new pet, whether you’ve rescued from a shelter or purchased through a breeder, the chances are they’ve been microchipped already by a local vet – and if they haven’t, you’ll probably need to look into sorting this. But whether that’s mandatory or not for your animal to be chipped depends entirely on what species they are – but first, let’s cover the basics.


A microchip is a small device which is implanted by a vet in between your pet’s shoulders, under the skin, and measures in around 11-13mm – that’s roughly the size of a grain of rice.
The procedure is so quick and painless that your pet won’t feel a thing and is so small that they’ll never know it’s there.
A microchip’s purpose is to identify your pet when scanned using the link between the implanted chip, and the database your pet’s details remain on. Think of it a bit like a barcode or a QR code for your pet.
Therefore, this can be a quick and useful way of being reunited if your pet goes missing. 


When your lost pet is found, it can be taken to any local vet or animal charity where it will be scanned with a small device for a microchip
If your pet is microchipped, the scanner will find the microchip number and identify your pet along with a home address and contact number, providing you’ve kept your details up to date of course.
Once the vet identifies your pet, they can then contact you and reunite you with your best friend in no time.


As soon as your pet has been chipped, you’ll receive their chip number – this is a 15-digit number that is unique to your pet and will identify them should they ever wander too far. Once you have the chip number, you can register this with your chip’s database.

Is it compulsory to microchip my pet?
This entirely depends on the species of your pet, so let’s break it down...

Since 2016 it has been a legal requirement for all dogs and puppies in the UK to be microchipped at no later than eight weeks old  – Castle Veterinary Centre offers microchipping to all registered clients for your new puppy. You can be fined up to £500 if your dog is found not to be microchipped.

As of June 2024 it will be compulsory for all cats and kittens over 20 weeks old to be microchipped. Failure to microchip your cat could result in a £500 fine. If you are a registered client with Castle Veterinary Centre we can offer a discount to microchip your cat/kitten when attending for the practice for other treatment.

Rabbits, Pets, Tortoises and other smaller animals can also be microchipped and although this isn’t required by law, it’s highly recommended and gives you the best possible chance of reuniting should they escape, go missing or be stolen. Castle Veterinary Centre offers microchipping to all registered clients for your small animals for your peace of mind.


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