How would you identify your pet if it wandered off, was lost or stolen.
John Brady takes a look at the subject in detail.
Q & A with John Brady
Q. What’s your background and what experience do you have in providing information about Pet Insurance?
A. I've worked in financial services for 20 years, including banking, credit cards and insurance. The last five have been spent at the John Lewis Partnership, where I’ve helped to launch and develop John Lewis Insurance, including our personal insurance cover for cars, weddings, pets, homes, events and travel.
Q. What are identity chips?
A. Identity Chips are tiny microchips that can be inserted under your pet’s skin, which gives them their own unique code. If your pet goes missing, the chip can then be scanned and matched to your contact details, which are kept on a database, such as the National Petlog database.
Q. Why do pets need them?
A. It’s all very well putting an engraved tag on your pet’s collar, but that can be removed. A microchip, on the other hand, is permanent, and links your pet up to a database so that they can be easily identified and returned to you. Also, if you’re taking your pet out of the country and they’ll be coming back, they need to be chipped under the Pet Travel Scheme.
Q. Where will my pet be chipped?
A. Cats and dogs are usually injected with a sterile needle just behind the shoulder blade. Any chipping should be done by your local vet, who’ll be qualified and trained to carry out the procedure.
Q. Will it hurt?
A. It’s quick and no more painful than a vaccination – and a moment of pain for your cat or dog is well worth it, knowing that it could lead to their safe return. Once done, it should last your pet a lifetime.
Q. How much will it cost?
A. Prices vary, but microchipping can start from as little as £20. If you’re interested in getting your cat or dog chipped, contact your vet.
Q. Is there a standard type of identity chip for pets?
A. There are different types, but the one recognised by most insurance providers and for travel has to conform to ISO standards – meeting specifications 11784 or 11785.
Q. Have you got any expert tips on pet microchipping and keeping your pets safe?
A. Yes, here are a few top tips:
- Always make sure whichever database you’re registered with has your up-to-date contact details. If you’re moving, or changing your phone number, add this to your ‘to do’ list.
- Even if your pet is chipped, it should always wear an ID tag with your name – rather than theirs – on it, along with your address and phone number.
- All pets are precious, but if you own a valuable or rare breed of dog think carefully before leaving it tied up outside a shop or alone in a car, and beware of strangers asking you lots of questions about it.
- If your pet goes missing, search the local area and spread the word with lost pet posters, although do make sure you check with your local authority before posting anything up. John Lewis Pet Insurance could pay up to £1,000 per year towards advertising and a reward, but please call us before advertising your reward to check we agree to it.
- Once you’re reunited, check your pet is healthy – a trip to the vets is a good idea. Don’t forget to remove the posters and thank everyone who helped with the search.
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