A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is injected under your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. Microchipping can be done during a normal consultation.
Each microchip has an individual number which is assigned to your pet. The pet owner’s contact details are kept on a national computer database (animal registry). When a lost pet gets brought into a veterinary clinic or animal shelter, a microchip scanner can reveal this individual number.
The vet or animal shelter can then refer to the database to contact the owner so that the lost pet and its owner can be reunited.
It is crucial that owners keep their contact information up to date with the animal registry – if pets have been rehomed or owners have moved and the contact details have not been updated, the lost pet and its owner will unfortunately not be able to be reunited.
By law in NSW, all dogs and cats must be permanently identified (by a microchip) by the age of 12 weeks or when sold or given away, whichever happens first. They must be lifetime registered (with the local council) by the age of 6 months.
There is an exemption from microchipping and registering for working dogs. Working dogs are defined as dogs used for droving, tending, working or protecting stock that live on farm land. Hunting dogs and guard dogs are not working dogs under this legislation.