Micro-Chipping

Micro chipping your dog or cat is the best way of ensuring that if they go astray they can be easily identified as your pet.

All cats and dogs at the MSPCA are micro chipped before being re-homed to give their new owners peace of mind that they will be reunited with their pet if it gets lost.

If you are receiving government benefits, or a farmer, hunter, or look after a community dog, call us on 21 230468 to see how you can take advantage of our special €19 only offer to neuter and chip you dog!

Microchipping animals to identify them has been available in Malta for over 20 years. It has been the law to microchip your dog since 2012  It is not currently the law to chip cats or other animals, but is highly recommended.

How does chipping work?

A very small implant with a radio transmitter built in fits under the skin. The needle used is not much bigger than an injection, it’s very sharp so doesn’t hurt when placed. It can be done awake without anaesthetic.

When a microchip reader (scanner) is placed near the chip, it receives a number transmitted by the chip. The number can be checked against national databases to identify the owner, whose contact details will already be on file. For dogs, this is run by the Malta Government and is a system enshrined in law. For cats, this is run by the Malta Veterinary Association.

What information is stored on the chip?

The chip only contains a unique number, but when that number is traced, it links to an animal record on the database. As well as details of the owner and animal, importantinformation can also be added, so that if the pet strays, it can be put back on treatment as quickly as possible.

When can it be done?

  • Cats – from around 9 or 10 weeks of age.
    Dogs – from a similar age, or at any time if your dog is not chipped yet.

What does the law say?
Your dog must be chipped and your details must be kept up to date when you move.

Is it not expensive?
It is a lot cheaper than you think (often as little as €15 or €20),

Who are the contact agencies?

  • FOR DOGS the Microchipping Unit – 00356 22925301/354 https://agriculture.gov.mt/en/vprd/Pages/microchipping.aspx
  • FOR CATS the Malta Veterinary Association on www.mva,org.mt/contact

What happens with a dog that comes into the MSPCA?

When we bring an animal into care we will change the registered owner on the chip to the MSPCA if it looks likely that the animal is not going to be rehomed quickly (such as a very sought-after breed or age of dog, or in a Home-to-Home case). Where animals are staying for only a short period, the chip is transferred directly from the previous owner to the new one.

Is it dangerous?
Microchipping is similar to a vaccination procedure. When performed by a vet the procedure should cause no physical harm to the animal. Occasionally a chip can fail when the number can not be read, but this happens very rarely. There are all sorts of rumours about chips migrating which are not based in scientific fact or evidence. Chipping has been done in the UK and USA for over 30 years.

You can find out some of the facts about the safety of chipping (from the UK Government source) here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/368474/PCDOCS-_596562-v2-VMD_Leaflet_017_A_-_VMD_s_Microchip_Adverse_Event_Reporting_Scheme.PDF