The microchip is a transponder the size of a grain of rice, a totally harmless system for the animal and that will facilitate the return of the animal in case of loss or theft.
Is it mandatory for all pets?
Microchip identification is mandatory throughout the national territory for dogs and cats. Other pets, such as rabbits or ferrets, depend on the Autonomous Community.
It should be mandatory for all those animals that live together as a family, something that is intended to be advanced with the Law for the Protection, Rights and Welfare of Animals, since it is the only effective way of linking an animal with its responsible human.
If you are not sure if your pet is required to be identified, it is best to consult your veterinarian.
And if you don’t leave home, is it also mandatory? There is a false belief that if the pet does not go outside, especially if it is a cat, it is not necessary to put the microchip. In addition to being illegal, it can always happen that our animal accidentally ends up lost (or stolen).
How is it the procedure?
Your veterinarian will implant the microchip under the skin on the left side of your pet’s neck, through a subcutaneous injection in a quick and practically painless process. This electronic “chip” has a linked number with which the veterinarian will record your data in an official database and which can be read wirelessly with the appropriate reader.
In such a way that, if an authorized person (police, veterinarian, protector…) reads the microchip of a lost pet, they will be able to locate their family by consulting the data that appears in the registry.
Is for all the life?
The microchip has, in principle, durability for a lifetime . But, being an electronic element, it can be deactivated. For this reason, it is advisable periodically, for example once a year, to take advantage of a visit to our veterinarian to ask him to pass the reader through the implant . With this simple act we will ensure that the vital identification of the animal will always be active.
Unfortunately there is another case for which we can do little: the extraction of the microchip in cases of stolen animals . The evil of the human causes these devices to be removed, generally in a bloody way (after a cut in the possible implantation area and its subsequent search in the tissues of the area), to disassociate the animal from its true culprit.
What other identification systems exist?
The identification of our pets, in addition to the mandatory microchip, can be complemented in many ways such as tattoos, badges with the phone engraved, collars or harnesses with “embroidered” data, QR codes and GPS devices.
The tattoo , unlike the microchip, is an annoying process for our animal and has to be done under sedation. It consists of tattooing your identification number usually inside the ear. In addition, over time, it can be deteriorated. It is a very widespread system among breeders, in order to accredit their genetic origin and pedigree .
Badges and collars make it easy to locate the owner without the need to carry a microchip reader. Anyone who finds the animal can quickly contact the owner.
QR codes, in addition to fulfilling the same function as badges or collars, when read, will lead to a web page with much more detailed information than the owner’s contact information, such as possible diseases of the animal, if it needs medication and even share the location where it has been found so that your family knows at the same time the place where it has been found.
GPS devices are the only ones that allow you to know in real time where your pet is (as long as the device has a signal and battery). They can be integrated into the necklace or can be hung from it.
Another of the ways of identification and control is through DNA . This record is unequivocal, which is why it is trying to implement it globally. The genetic code is found in all organic cells, residues, secretions… making it impossible to manipulate or “extract”. With a specific analysis we could identify the animal found, whether it is alive or dead.
DNA identification is already available in many municipalities in our country, but sadly not for the purpose of recovery in case of loss, disappearance or theft. Its use is being for something as limited as the control of excrement on public roads.