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How Much Does a Dog or Cat Microchip Cost in Australia?

Microchip Cost in Australia

Pet microchipping is the process of having your pets, such as dogs and cats, registered in an animal registry by inserting a grain-sized microchip under their skins. A microchip serves as the pet’s permanent identification, for it contains a unique identification number that links to the owner’s address and contact information when scanned by vets and animal shelters. 

How much does it cost to have your pet permanently identified with a microchip? The average cost of pet microchipping in Australia is between $60 and $80. However, this varies depending on the state you’re in and the vet clinic performing the procedure. 

If you want to know more about pet microchipping costs, this blog post is for you. We’ve compiled answers to your questions about pet microchipping costs and other details about microchips for cats and dogs in Australia. Read on.

How Much Does Pet Microchipping Cost in Australia?

The RSPCA NSW stated the average cost of microchipping a dog or a cat in Australia is between $60 and $80. The exact price you’ll pay for microchipping depends on the state in Australia you are in and the place you get your pet microchipped. 

However, if you adopt or purchase your cat, it’s a legal requirement for kittens and cats to be microchipped before ownership is transferred. This means that the breeder or rescue is responsible for microchipping the cat. When adopting a pet, this is typically included in the adoption fee. 

Does it Cost Money to Register a Pet Microchip?

Typically the registration of your pet’s microchip is performed by your vet clinic at the time of the procedure, so it doesn’t incur any additional cost. If registering the microchip number yourself, you may need to pay a small fee. 

It’s important to note that this is a separate fee from the cost of having your pet microchipped and having your pet registered with your local council. While registering a microchip is very inexpensive, registering your pet often costs a bit more, depending on the type of pet you have, how many you have and your regional council. 

How Often Do I Need to Get My Pet Microchipped?

Pets only need to be microchipped once, because the microchip itself has no internal battery and won’t stop working during your pet’s lifetime. In very rare circumstances, you may need a second microchip if the first is dislodged and cannot be scanned by your vet. 

Microchips are designed to last the pets’ average life span. You can update your information linked to the microchip, like change your address or contact information, but you do not need to change their microchips unless, for some reason, the microchip is no longer scannable.

Is the Cost of Pet Microchipping Worth it? 

Because the cost of pet microchipping is so low, and there are so many benefits (including avoiding fines for not having your pet microchipped), the cost of microchipping is more than worth it. 

Depending on the Australian state you live in, and whether your pet is a dangerous or restricted breed, fines for not having your pet microchipped range between $180 and $5,000. In addition to state penalties, you can also face fines by your local council for failing to microchip a dog or cat. 

Considering the cost to microchip your pet is often under $100, it’s well worth the cost to get your dog or cat microchipped. 

Pros of Microchipping Your Cat or Dog 

The pros of microchipping your cat or dog include:

  • Avoid Fines – Given that microchipping is compulsory in Australia, you can avoid needless and expensive fines by ensuring your pet is microchipped. Since the cost of microchipping is under $100 and fines can be up to $5,000, microchipping your pet makes good financial sense. 
  • Affordability – Microchips are inexpensive, but provide vital protection for your pet. It’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind, as well as avoiding the distress and trauma of permanently losing a pet. 
  • Low Risk – The process of having your pet microchipped is incredibly low-risk. Side effects are extremely rare and usually mild even when they do occur, so you shouldn’t avoid microchipping due to fears about adverse effects. 
  • Security – If your pet goes missing or stolen, a pet microchip is invaluable. If your pet is lost, they will be brought to a vet clinic or an animal shelter, where their microchip will be scanned. This will bring up your contact information only accessible to the vet on a government-approved registry database, so your pet can be returned to you easily. If your pet is stolen, scanning the microchip will show the pet’s legal owner in the event of an ownership conflict. 
  • Life Saving – There are always far more lost and stray pets than there are people to adopt them. When pet shelters and councils have too many unclaimed dogs or cats, it’s unfortunately the case that animals are eventually euthanised. Microchips help rescuers to return the animals to their owners, preventing dogs and cats from being unnecessarily put down. 

Cons of Microchipping Your Cat or Dog 

The few downsides of microchipping your pet include: 

  • Can’t Track Your Pet’s Specific Location – Microchips do not have a built-in GPS that you can track. Therefore, it cannot help you physically find your pet when they are missing. Because the science behind microchip trackers for cats and dogs hasn’t been perfected yet, you’ll need to purchase an additional product – like a GPS enabled collar – if you want to track your pet. 
  • Needs a Specialised Scanner to Read – A pet microchip can’t be scanned by the everyday person, including through a phone app. A specialised RFID scanner is required to check a lost pet for a microchip, meaning a dog or cat needs to be taken to a vet or shelter to scan their chip. 
  • Only as Effective as the Contact Details Attached – If you move house or change your number without updating your pet’s microchip details, it won’t be possible to contact you if your lost pet is found. That’s why it’s critical to ensure you always keep the registry details up-to-date. 

These don’t mean you shouldn’t get your pet microchipped – far from it! However, it does mean you may want to consider other ways of identifying your pet as well. For example, ensuring your pet also has a collar and identification tag with your phone number can make it quicker for members of the public to contact you if they find your lost dog. 

What Are the Fines for Not Microchipping My Pet in WA?

Failure to comply with the registration and microchipping requirements under the Western Australia Dog Act 1976 can result in a fine of up to $5,000. On-the-spot penalties of $200 (or $400 for a dangerous dog) can also apply. 

Fines also apply for:

  • Failure to notify the local government of pet microchip details
  • Removing or interfering with a pet’s microchip
  • Transfer of ownership of pets that aren’t microchipped
  • Failure to notify microchip database company of new ownership 
  • Failure to notify the local government or microchip database company of changes to contact details 

If I Didn’t Know I Need to Microchip My Pet, Will I Still Be Fined? 

Yes. It’s the owner’s responsibility to make sure they understand the laws regarding pet microchipping. There is no leeway given for being unaware, and there are no exceptions to microchipping laws if you didn’t know your pet needs a microchip. 

If My Pet’s Microchip Is No Longer Scannable, Will I Still Be Fined? 

Yes, it’s the owner’s responsibility to ensure their pet’s microchip is still scannable, and you can be fined if your pet’s microchip is no longer scannable. 

While microchips do not run out of battery and are difficult to damage, they can dislodge and migrate in rare instances. If your pet is suffering from microchip migration, your local veterinarian will be able to help. They can let you know if the microchip is no longer scannable for any reason.

If this is the case, they will be able to organise a replacement microchip for your pet. 

If It’s My First Warning, Will I Still Be Fined? 

Yes, even if it’s your first warning about a pet that isn’t microchipped, you can still be fined. It’s considered your legal obligation as a pet owner to ensure your pet is microchipped. 

Related Questions

How Much Does Pet Registration Cost in Perth?

In the City of Perth, council registration fees for pet dogs and cats differ depending on the duration of your registration, if your pet is sterilised or if you have a pensioner concession card. 

Below are the registration costs for dogs in Perth:

Standard Price for Sterilised DogsPensioner Concession Price for Sterilised DogsStandard Price for Unsterilised DogsPensioner Concession Price for Unsterilised Dogs
1 Year $20$10$50$25
3 Years$42.50$21.25$120$60
Lifetime$100$50$250$125

Below are the registration costs for cats in Perth:

Standard Registration Price for Cats Pensioner Concession Registration Price for Cats  
1 Year $20$10
3 Years$42.50$21.25
Lifetime$100$50

How Many Pets Can I Have in Perth? 

Residential homes in Perth can own a maximum of two dogs or three cats without needing special permission or permits. You can have a maximum of four dogs with a domestic dog permit, and every cat after your third requires special permission from your local government. 

Disclaimer:

This article is published in good faith, for general informational and educational purposes only. Paws and More Vet Centre does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness and reliability of this information. This article should not be used as a substitute for veterinary advice, including for diagnosis or treatment of a pet’s medical condition. Always consult a veterinary professional before making decisions on your pet’s health. 

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