In Tasmania, compulsory microchipping of dogs took effect from 1 July, 2011. From this date all dogs over six months of age must be microchipped and registered with a council.

If your dog is not microchipped an infringement fine of up to $1,200 may be enforced. If your dog strays or is lost, the council may microchip your pet without your consent. This cost must be paid before your dog is returned to you.

Why should I have my pet microchipped?

  • Microchips provide a permanent form of identification that cannot be changed or removed and this identification lasts for the life of the pet
  • If you pet ever escapes your yard and is injured a vet can contact you quickly in order to obtain permission for possibly life saving treatment.
  • A microchip cannot be lost, unlike a collar or tag
  • Microchips identify a pet anywhere in Australia and on a 24 hour-per-day basis compared with some council registration systems that only operate during business hours.
  • Microchips are simple to implant and implantation only needs to be done once in an animal’s life.
  • Microchipping is inexpensive – a once-off minimal cost will protect your pet for life.
  • Valuable animals such as purebred dogs can easily be identified.
  • Similar-looking animals can be uniquely identified by their microchip and this resolves ownership disputes.

Disadvantages of microchipping are rare.  There are some reports of microchips migrating from the original site of injection but changes have been made to many brands of microchips to resolve this problem.

The advantage of identification tags on collars is that they allow immediate identification by any person who finds the pet, without relying on them having a scanner in their back pocket!  Tags and collars can be lost, but a tag is very cheap to purchase and, in many cases, welfare societies supply free tags. Microchips don’t replace tags and collars but supplement them. Indeed, most microchip suppliers provide plastic identification tags along with the microchip so owners get the best of both worlds.

What does the microchip look like?

Microchip with rice

How is the microschip inserted?

At NHVH a small patch of fur may be clipped, before cleaning the skin over the area. If your pet is awake a small injection of local anaesthetic will be given before the microchip is inserted painlessly into the loose skin between the shoulder blades.

A microchip can also be implanted when your pet is being desexed.

Registering the microchip

After the microchip is placed on your pet, the chip’s number is recorded on the database for your pet’s entire life. You must contact the database whenever your details change.