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I have heard many excuses as to why owners don’t think their pets needs a microchip…

Here are a few of them… and the reasons why they are just not true.


“I have only had my dogs microchipped. Cats don’t need microchips”

If your cat roams then it definitely needs a microchip.

Most cats will spend the day out and about and come home for dinner and cuddles. Yes, they usually find their way home however, what if they get stuck somewhere and cannot get home.

There have been many cases of cats jumping into other people’s cars. What if your pet is hit by a car or falls out of a tree and a good Samaritan takes him to the vet?

Sometimes if an animal is badly injured and the owner cannot be found, it may be euthanized and the owner may never know. Don’t leave it to chance.

“He is just a puppy and can’t get out of the yard”

Puppies can easily squeeze through gates or run out when you aren’t looking. It is possible that a few hours may go by before you realise your little fluff ball is missing.

Gorgeous purebred puppies are sometimes stolen and microchipping your pet helps safeguard against that.

Once an animal has a chip, the details on that chip need to be changed but you can only do so with a signed change of ownership.

“My cat never leaves the house”

All the more reason to get her chipped. If a cat doesn’t know the outside environment well, they are more likely to get lost or stuck or hit by a car and injured.

Sometimes a window may be left open by mistake and you are at work for 9 hours a day. That is a long time for a pet to be wondering around.

“It’s too sore for puppies to get one placed”

The microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and although it is a bit sore, it is worth it.

Many people wait until their pet is sterilised at 6 months old so that it can be done once the dog is under anaesthetic.

If you would like to rather wait, understand that there is a risk of your puppy being stolen or going missing. It is a bit sore for some puppies, but usually it isn’t anything that a treat can’t fix.

“My dog is so old, it’s not worth getting one put in”

Old animals can also run away or get lost. Many dogs are terrified of lightning and thunder and have been known to be able to jump over walls and fences when they are scared. 

“Our animals are never left alone, we always get a pet-sitter to stay with them when we go away”

Pet sitters are people too, and they also go out or leave the house every now and then.

They may even be more likely to forget to close a gate or cover up a hole under the fence because it isn’t their home.

Don’t take a chance. Stray animal numbers double over the festive season while people are away for holidays or spending more time out socialising at their friends.

More reasons why chipping is a no-brainer:

  • Any vet or rescue organisation will always scan a stray animal that is brought in. It is a quick reliable way for your details to be found by them and allows them to contact you ASAP. Many veterinary practices have limited space and cannot keep animals longer than a few days. They ultimately end up at rescue organisations which also run low on space and resources. Old and sick animals will not be able to get the right amount of care and often aren’t able to be rehomed.
     
  • Most microchipping companies have a once off payment but you can pay annually too. Always remember to call in to your microchip service provider and double check your details are all correct. Ask them to send you an official certificate so you can check spelling is correct too.
     
  • If you ever want to travel overseas, your pet must have been microchipped before that last vaccination, otherwise they will not be allowed to emigrate. It is always worth it to get your pet’s chip scanned every year when he goes for his check-up or vaccinations, because there have been cases where animals have been stuck in transit because their chips did not scan.
     
  • There are some types of pet feeders and doggy doors that you can link to microchips. So, this makes feeding your different pets different foods, like prescription diets, much easier. If you have been having stray or feral cats spraying in your house, you can activate the door to only let your pets in.
     
  • In order for your pet to be registered with any association such as KUSA, they will need to be microchipped.

Conclusion:

It’s not worth the wait, chip today to avoid your pet being a stray.

Dr Tanya Viljoen
After studying at Onderstepoort, Tanya worked in private practice for 4 years focused mainly on dogs and cats. She believes that the human- animal bond is a precious and essential part of life.
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