Microchip Identification

Microchipping is a permanent form of identification for your pet. Inserting a microchip is like a vaccination, it only takes a few seconds. The procedure is very safe and your pet will feel little pain. Once done, your pet’s details, your contact address and phone numbers are entered on a national database.

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About Microchip Identification in Western Australia

Why do Vetwest recommend microchips?

Collars can fall off or be removed and details on pet tags can fade or become outdated. Inserting a microchip means your pet can be easily identified by a ranger, animal shelter or veterinarian regardless of the situation. Once identified, you can be contacted immediately and informed of the location of your pet.

If your pet has been stolen and then later recovered, ownership of your pet can be challenged. Microchipping is the only way you can prove ownership of your pet (and yes this does happen).

In Western Australia, it is compulsory for all cats over the age of 6 months of age to be microchipped and as of 1st November 2015 all dogs that have reached the age of 3 months must be microchipped.

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How is a microchip implanted?

Our Vetwest healthcare team can insert a Microchip during a normal veterinary consultation. The chip itself is very small – about the size of a grain of rice – and is implanted just under the skin, between the shoulder blades at the back of your pet’s neck.

What happens after your pet is microchipped?

Each chip has a unique number that is detected using a microchip scanner. The microchip number along with your pet’s details are submitted to a database registry. Should your pet stray or become lost, vets, animal shelters and local councils can scan your pet for a microchip and contact you via the database.

What age do you need to microchip your pet?

All cats must be sterilised, microchipped and registered by the time they reach 6 months of age.

Section 21 of the Dog Act 1976 requires dogs to be microchipped when they are 3 months of age, and being registered for the first time or when a change of ownership occurs. As of 1 November 2015, all dogs that have reached 3 months of age must be microchipped regardless of registration status.

Do you need to microchip your pet if they are unwell?

If we believe microchipping is likely to adversely affect the health and welfare of your pet, Vetwest veterinarians may issue you with an Exemption certificate that you take to your local government.

Microchipping and adopting or purchasing a dog or cat in WA


Amendments introduced on 1 November 2013 require that all new dogs registered for the first time, or dogs that are transferred to a new owner, need to be microchipped. All existing dogs need to be microchipped by 1 November 2015.

When you register your dog, you will be required to provide proof that the dog has been microchipped, by providing the local government with the microchip number.


If you purchase a cat, it must be sterilised and microchipped by the seller. If your new cat is considered by the vet to be too small to be sterilised, the seller must provide you with a sterilisation voucher.

By the time your cat is six months old, you need to provide evidence of microchipping and sterilisation to your local government to get it registered. Your local government will then issue you a registration tag which you must make sure your cat wears whenever it is in a public place.

If you sell or give your cat away, it is your responsibility to ensure the cat is microchipped and sterilised prior to sale or being given away. You also need to notify, in writing, both the local government being where the cat is registered, and the microchip database company of the new owner’s details.

Adoption – updating your details with the registry

If you adopt a new pet, it is your responsibility to contact a national registry and update your pet’s registration details. If you are not sure who your pet is registered with, you can find out through Pet Address at www.petaddress.com.au 

What happens if your pet strays?

If your pet is ever lost, a ranger, animal shelter or veterinarian anywhere in Australia can scan your pet for the microchip and access your contact details. The only way that you may not become reunited with your lost pet is if you don’t contact the register when you have changed your address or contact phone numbers.

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Who to contact if you change address

If you change address or telephone number, it is your responsibility to contact the appropriate registry to update your contact details. If you are not sure who your pet is registered with, you can find out through Pet Address at www.petaddress.com.au

An important message for pet owners who have recently moved from NSW

Pets with a microchip implanted in NSW are required by law to be registered on a state based register known as the NSW “Companion Animal Registry” (see  www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au). This state based database is not linked to any national register. It is not compulsory in NSW to register a pet’s microchip on a national registry. Therefore if you have recently moved from NSW to our state we strongly recommend checking www.petaddress.com.au to see if your pet has been registered on a national database. If your pet’s details are not recognised, please contact a national register such as Central Animal Records (details above) and complete a registration form. A fee of approximately $10 will apply. If you do not know your pet’s microchip number and visit our practice please contact us for more information.

How do you update your pet’s microchip number with Vetwest

If you are an existing Vetwest Animal Hospital client you can update your pet’s microchip number by submitting our online update form

How do you have your pet microchipped?

Microchips are implanted by veterinary practices and can be done safely without an anesthetic. Just call us today to make an appointment for your pet’s microchip implant and registration.

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