National Microchipping Month is a campaign that encourages and promotes responsible pet ownership through microchipping as the preferred method of permanent identification.

If you have ever lost your pet you will know just how worrying it can be and understand the importance of making sure that they are properly identified so that, when found, your pet can be returned to you as quickly as possible.

As a dog owner, you have a legal requirement to ensure that your pet is under control and is properly identified with suitable collar and tag and that it has a current Rabies vaccination. In some cases, your pet can become lost, so a microchip is vital as the permanent form of identification which will be in place for life.

What Is A Microchip?

The microchip is 12mm long and 2mm in diameter and is approximately the size of a grain of rice, which is then implanted just under the skin and between the shoulder blades of your pet. It will have its own unique bar code number, and this, with your pet’s details and your details will be registered for life on a National Pet Identification database.

What Happens If My Pet Goes Missing?

If your pet goes missing and is then picked up as a stray by your Local Authority, it will be scanned and your pet’s unique number will be displayed. Identification database and the microchip number will confirm your address, then you and your pet will quickly be reunited.

When And Where Can I Get My Pet Chipped?

All vets in Spain are able to implant microchips for your pet. The cost does vary, but it should be around 35€. The pet must have a rabies vaccination first, which should be repeated every year. Make sure that the microchip is checked by the vet before you leave the surgery as they have be known to be faulty and if you are going back to the UK with your pet, the microchip will be checked as you enter UK.

Animal medicine is completely private in Spain and can be expensive. Bear this in mind if you are thinking of taking on any pets. Vets have to spend years training and also have to earn a living, so do not expect your vet to treat your animals for free. Many vets will help the numerous animal charities in the area, but this should not be taken for granted.

Do vets have to assist any animal which needs treatment that may be found on the road, with or without an owner? It is very common for owners to bring their animals to a vet and explain that they do not have any money to pay for the treatment. The socioeconomic situation we are living in these days has been increased until it has reached an unbearable point. It must be understood that customers should not try to blackmail the vets into giving free treatment. Most vets show great empathy under these circumstances and will charge only the fees necessary to cover costs, but they cannot do it all the time. In extreme cases the only solution is euthanasia, but the vets will do their best to help the animals.

One solution to large vet bills when owning a pet is Pet Insurance and there are many companies in the area offering various schemes. Give them a call and see what the best policy is for you and your pet.

Article written in conjunction with Paco,
Clinica Veterinaria, Puerto de Mazarrón