Microchip your dog and cat

If you're looking for information about how to microchip your dog or cat, you've come to the right place. Dog microchips and cat microchips are quick and easy to insert. 


By law, all dogs (including newborn pups) must be microchipped, registered and certified.

Owners who refuse to microchip their dogs could face a fine of up to €5000.

1. What is a microchip?

A microchip is a small electronic device, which is the size of a grain of rice. The microchip is coded with a unique number that can be read by a scanner. A microchip works through radio wave frequency.

2. How is the microchip implanted?

Using a specially designed implanting device the microchip is injected through a sterile needle under your pet's skin.

3. Where is the microchip implanted?

Usually, the microchip is implanted under the skin, between the shoulder blades.

4. Does it hurt?

No anaesthetic is required and the procedure should cause no more discomfort than a standard vaccination.

5. How does the microchip stay in place?

Once the microchip has been inserted, the dog's body tissue surrounding the microchip attaches itself, preventing movement of the chip.

6. Could my pet be allergic to the microchip?

The microchip is inert and biocompatible. There is virtually no chance of the body developing an allergy or trying to reject the microchip after being implanted.

7. How does the microchip work?

The computer memory in the microchip contains a unique 15 digit number - no two pets will ever get the same number. Apart from the number the chip contains no other information. A radio signal transmitted from a scanner is used to read this number through the skin of your pet. In addition to the number, the microchip generates a reliability check to guarantee that your pet's identifying number is read accurately. This all takes place in less than a second. After the scan the vet consults a database to find a matching number and thereby obtain the owner's contact details.

8. Who has a scanner?

These can be found at most veterinary practices (including ours of course), Local Authorities and animal welfare groups. Local Authorities and animal welfare groups use scanners to check stray pets to see if they have been microchipped. If the pet has been microchipped he / she can then be returned to the owner easily and quickly.

9. How are the owners traced?

If a dog is found to have a microchip, the Local Authority, vet or animal welfare organisation contacts a national database to find the owner's details. The owner then can be contacted and reunited with their dog. Your registration document will tell you which database has your dog registered and their contact details. If you need to make any changes to your dogs registered details, such as moving house, you should contact your database operator. Owners of microchip scanners have special access to the databases to allow them to contact you if they find your dog.

10. Where can I get my pet microchipped?

With us and most veterinary practices in Ireland, along with a growing number of Local Authorities and animal welfare groups.

11. How much does it usually cost?

To get a microchip inserted in Cara Vets, it currently costs €55. From time to time, we have special offers on microchipping, so keep an eye on our Special Offers page on this website. 

12. How long does a microchip last?

Once injected under the skin, the microchip becomes encased by a thin layer of protein which anchors it in place for the rest of the life of your pet. It does not pass through or out of the body. The microchip itself has no power supply to replace or moving parts to wear down.

13. At what age can my pet be microchipped?

Pets of any age can be injected with a microchip. However you should consult your vet and ask their advice.

14. Can cats be microchipped?

We recommend that cats are microchipped so that they can be reunited with their owners, however, please note it is not currently compulsory to do so.

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