Why do rabbits get microchipped?
May 14, 2022
You are probably familiar with dogs and cats being microchipped, but what about rabbits? With it being National Microchipping Month in June, our Glasgow veterinary team are here to tell you everything you need to know about microchipping rabbits.
Is your rabbit secure in your home and garden? You would hope so, but rabbits are inquisitive creatures and their curiosity can get them into trouble.
What would you do if your rabbit got lost? Rabbits do not typically wear a collar & ID tag so with no identification, anyone finding your pet would not know who or where to return them to. This is why microchipping rabbits is a good idea.
What is rabbit microchipping?
Microchips are tiny electronic devices that contain all the data needed to trace you if someone finds your lost pet. A microchip is about the same size as a grain of rice. It is implanted just under the skin (usually between the shoulder blades) via an injection. Microchips are designed to last for life and should cause no bother to your pet. If an animal is deemed large enough, our team at Avenues Vets can microchip them – ask us about microchipping your rabbit.
How is microchipping helpful?
A microchip stores a unique code, which is matched to the owner’s details on a central online database. Avenues Vets and other veterinary practices, as well as some animal rescue centres, have special microchip scanners to reveal the code. If you do not keep your contact details up to date on the central database, it may not be possible to reunite you with your rabbit.
Benefits of rabbit microchipping
Microchipping is currently the most effective way to reunite pets with their owners if they are brought into a vet practice or animal shelter without an ID tag – this could be due to a successful escape attempt or if a stolen pet is recovered. With no way to identify the owner, pets are typically put up for rehoming.
Pet theft isn’t just a dog and cat owner issue. Since the start of COVID, pet thefts across a variety of species have risen. In 2021, Darius – the world’s largest rabbit – was stolen from his garden hutch in Worcestershire. Read the BBC news story about Darius here.
The Government Department of Environmental Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published a Pet Theft Taskforce policy paper in September last year, which outlined measures being taken to tackle the rising number of pet thefts. One of the proposed measures is to have vet practices scan all new pets at their first appointment. You can read the full DEFRA report here.
The bottom line is, without any form of identification, pets have little to no chance of being reunited with their owners should the worst happen. Rabbit microchipping is a low-cost, simple way to give your pet rabbit a traceable form of identification and give you peace of mind.