This browser is not supported. Please upgrade your browser.

Why should you get your pet micro-chipped?

Posted on : 31 August 2016

Learn how pet microchips work, where to get one, and why your pet should have one. Register your pet online with Australian Animal Registry, Australia's largest not for profit pet registry.

Microchipping your pet cat or dog is the first important step to ensuring you're reunited should he or she ever stray or become lost.

What is a microchip?

The Oxford Dictionary definition of microchip is 'A tiny wafer of semiconducting material used to make an integrated circuit'. Microchips for pets are a permanent method of electronic identification. They're the size of a grain of rice and use radio frequency to communicate with the scanners that read them. Each chip has a unqiue number that is recorded on a pet microchip register or database. A scanner is required to read the microchip. Generally veterinarians, animal shelters and municipal councils have scanners to read pet microchips.

Can all animals be microchipped?

Microchips are usually used for cats and dogs, however, other animals can be implanted and registered with an animal microchip registry including horses, birds and zoo animals.

When should microchipping be done?

Ideally your pet should be microchipped before purchase or adoption. If your pet has not been microchipped, make an appointment with your vet or another authorised microchip implanter to have this done. Authorised microchip implanters generally include veterinarians, animal shelters and municipal councils.

Microchipping for cats and dogs is mandatory in Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. In Tasmania, it is only compulsory for dogs to be microchipped. People in South Australia should contact their local council or the Dog and Cat Management Board to determine the status of mandatory pet microchipping which may affect them.

How do microchips work?

The unique number on the microchip is recorded on a pet register or database.  Once you register your pet online, you can include important information about the animal as well as the contact details of the owner. All these details remain on the animal microchip registry so that if your pet strays or is lost, a vet clinic, animal shelter or municipal council can use their scanner to read the unique number on the microchip, locate your details, make contact, and reunite you with your pet.

Where to get your pet microchipped

Microchips can only be implanted by those authorised to do so. Vets, animal welfare agencies and some local councils can microchip pets. A veterinarian can implant microchips as part of a routine appointment. Using a needle, the vet will inject the microchip just under the skin of your pet. Cat and dog microchips are implanted just under the skin between the shoulder blades at the back of the neck. The vet will recommend the ideal location to implant the microchip for other animals.

How do I register a microchip online?

It's easy to register your pet on an animal microchip registry in Australia. Once you have the unique microchip number, go online and record your details on the Australian database registry. Include all the information you have about the animal and the owner on the microchip registry. Responsible pet owners will ensure all contact information is kept up to date. If they move house or change phone numbers, they will be easily and quickly contactable should the pet become lost.

When a pet is transferred to a new owner, it is the new owner's responsibility to ensure their contact details are recorded on the animal microchip register.

Why register with AAR

Your chances of being reunited with your pets are greatly increased when you microchip and register them with AAR. It's easy to register your pet and update your details with AAR. Simply complete the form online, or if you prefer, download and complete the form, then mail it to AAR along with the processing fee.