Microchipping - Ensuring they return home

If your pet ever goes missing, save yourself the heartache of searching pet shelters and the pound by microchipping your pet.

A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is injected under your pet’s skin. It can be done during a normal consultation or your pet's de-sexing surgery. The microchip is embedded with a number unique to your pet and is the most effective form of permanent identification. Make sure your veterinarian puts this number into a national computer database (New Zealand Companion Animal Register), so it can be assessed to help with the return of lost pets. A microchip can also assist where the ownership of an animal is in dispute.

If a pet is ever lost and is handed in at a veterinary clinic or animal shelter, a microchip scanner is passed over the animal to reveal the unique number. The vet or animal shelter can then search the national database to identify the name, address and phone number of the owner, so they can be reunited.

Legal Requirements

It is compulsory to microchip

Dogs registered (with city council) for the first time in New Zealand after three months of age

Dogs that have been classed as menacing or dangerous

Unregistered dogs that have been impounded

Dogs already registered that have been impounded for the second time

Keep your contact details up to date

Claim your pet's listing on the New Zealand Companion Animal Register using the microchip number. Make sure your contact details are up to date.

I have lost a Pet - What to do?

Find your pet's microchip number. You can save it under your pet's name in your phone's contact list for ready access

Ring your vet and other neighbourhood vets to check if someone has brought your pet to them

Ring dog pound and animal shelter to check and inform

Register details of your lost pet on dedicated websites such as New Zealand Companion Animal Register and Lost Pet Finders

Check and inform your neighbours so they can keep an eye. Drop leaflets, stating your pet's details and photo, in the letterboxes in your neighbourhood and also at the vets in the area