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A microchip is a harmless radio chip about the size of a grain of rice. It is injected under the skin of your pet in the same way as a routine vaccination. Each one is coded with a unique number which can be read by a harmless scanner.

The number is linked on a national database with the owners contact details. There are many reasons why microchipping your pet is a good idea, the more accurate question is why not?

Going astray

Hundreds of thousands of stray pets are taken in by rescue centres throughout the country each year. Sadly over half of these aren’t returned their owners as they have no identification and after only seven days, these strays can be offered to new homes.

Emergency care

At Cromwell Vets we have found that microchips have been invaluable in reuniting pets with their owners. Most commonly we have cats brought in as an emergency and they aren’t wearing a collar. In these circumstances, it is important to find their owner as fast as possible, and this reunion is made possible with a quick scan to obtain the pet’s unique number allowing us to contact their owners.

Dog theft

Another worrying concern is the growing crime of dog theft. Dogs are taken at any opportunity, including from gardens and cars and then either sold on or held to ransom for thousands of pounds. In 2012 over 3,500 dogs were reported and the number is growing each year; to date 40,000 dog owners have had their dog stolen (since records began). A microchip can prove you are the dog's rightful owner and help them be returned to you.

Compulsory microchips for dogs

The government has passed the law that as from 6th April 2016 (1st March 2015 in Wales) it will be compulsory for all dogs to be microchipped.

Dogs aren’t the only pets who would be benefit from a microchip – cats, birds, rabbits, even tortoises and snakes – any animal can be microchipped to protect against loss or theft for only £9.99 at Cromwell Vets. If you have any questions about microchips, ask our friendly staff or visit

Download Microchips factsheet