DUBAI - If you have ever lost your pet, you can understand the anxiety and frustration pet owners face in such a situation. Microchips in pets can be extremely helpful if your pet goes missing. A lost pet, if found by someone, can be returned to its family if the microchip is scanned by a veterinary clinic. This is because, if you follow all the necessary steps, the microchip will not only contain your pet’s medical records, but also your name and address.
So, if you want to make sure that your pet has the best chance to return to you, if he or she gets lost, and also want to keep their medical records updated, here is all you need to know about microchipping and registering your pet in Dubai.
What is a microchip?
Dr Raimundo Tamagnini, Clinic Director and veterinary surgeon at The Cat Vet veterinary clinic in Dubai, explained that a microchip is a tiny implant, typically about the size of a grain of rice, which is inserted under the skin.
“It is usually implanted in a very similar way to administering a vaccine – with a specific miniscule syringe-type device with a small needle, which is implanted under the animal’s skin, usually around the scruff of the neck. It is then linked to a central database that holds all the details of the pet and the owner,” he said.
Can a microchip help me remotely locate my pet?
Some people may assume that a microchip can act as a live GPS (Global Positioning System) tracker, which identifies the whereabouts of your wandering pet. However, while microchips can provide certain vital information about the pet and pet owner, when scanned, they cannot be used to remotely track your pet, if he or she gets lost.
If you wish to remotely track your pet, you can buy a separate GPS tracker for you dog or cat at a pet store or online and attach it to their collar.
How do I get my pet microchipped?
According to Dr Tamagnini these are the steps to follow, if you need to get your pet microchipped:
• First book an appointment at a veterinary clinic.
• Your pet will be checked to confirm if he or she is in good health to receive the microchip.
• The clinic will request for your pet's details, like name, date of birth, breed, etc.
• You will need to present a copy of the front and back of your Emirates ID.
• You will have to provide your personal details, like your address and phone number.
• You will need to present a rabies vaccination certificate.
My pet got lost … how does a microchip help?
According to Dr Tamagnini, if your pet is lost and microchipped, you should contact Dubai Municipality and your pet’s veterinarian to inform them of when and where the pet was last seen.
Also, you need to provide all the information about the pet and a photograph in order to make it easier for the pet to be identified.
“Usually the veterinary clinics in Dubai share this information with other clinics to help in the search for the pet,” he added.
Registering your pet with the Dubai Municipality Veterinary database is crucial
As of 2015, pet owners have to register their pets online on the Dubai Municipality’s official website as well. A microchip installed in a pet is not of much use if the chip’s number and pet owner’s details, specifically their contact details, are not registered with the Dubai Municipality’s Veterinary database.
Adriana De Koeyer, the manager at Modern Veterinary Clinic said: “If a lost pet is returned to a vet or the municipality’s veterinary clinic, the microchip is scanned and if it is registered under the municipality’s database, the owner’s contact details pop up.”
“The municipality’s registry also provides statistics on the number of pets in the locality and based on that data, facilities for pets are created such as dog parks and other recreational activities for pets,” she added.
If a lost pet is returned to a vet or the municipality’s veterinary clinic, the microchip is scanned and if it is registered under the municipality’s database, the owner’s contact details pop up.
How do I register my pet on the Dubai Municipality Veterinary database?
The steps to follow when registering on the website:
• First visit the Dubai Municipality’s veterinary department’s website here - https://veterinary.dm.gov.ae/Admin/Login
• Click on the ‘Services’ tab in the top banner.
• Once you have landed on the services page, log in or create an account with the Dubai Municipality or use your UAE Pass.
• After you have finished logging in, select ‘Individual services’. Then click on the ‘Request for Animal Registration and Numbering’ service from the list.
• You will be directed to the application page.
• Select Application Type as ‘Individual’.
• Then select animal type as ‘Pet animal’.
• The request type has three options: renew, amend and new. If this is your first time, select ‘New’. If you need to update any changes, select ‘Amend’.
After completing this, you will reach the ‘Request Information section’.
• Then proceed to choose which clinic type you prefer: Municipality Clinic or Private Clinic.
The use of microchips also allows the results of tests like rabies, blood tests and genetic tests for certain diseases, to be stored alongside a cat’s unique microchip number.
• If you choose municipality clinic, you will only be presented with one option - the Al Khawaneej Veterinary Clinic. If you wish to visit a private clinic, then you will be presented with a list of accredited private clinics in Dubai. You can select whichever clinic you prefer.
• Then select the clinic location, accordingly.
Once the Request Information section is done, it is time to fill out the ‘Applicant Information’, which is the details of the pet owner.
• If you have logged in using your UAE Pass, your Emirates ID number will automatically be filled in. You will only need to manually enter your date of birth.
If you have logged in manually, you will have to fill in the following information:
o Date of Birth
o Emirates ID expiry date
o Document Issue Authority, which is ‘Emirates ID Authority’.
Then continue to Contact Information
• First type in your mobile number, your name in English, and email ID.
• Select your preferred contact channel: email or mobile.
• Then choose your preferred payment method. You will presented with the following options:
• Al Ansari Payment
• Cash payment
• Check Payment
• Credit or debit card payment
• Electronic Kiosk
• Mobile Payment
• Select your preferred communication language: Arabic or English
If you have a UAE Pass, your mobile number, name and email will automatically be filled in.
After completing the pet owners contact information, move on to ‘Animal Location Details’
• Select ‘Animal location’. You will be provided with two options: Other Emirates or Dubai
• If you have selected Dubai, you will need to provide the Makani number of your residence.
The Makani number is a 10-digit code that gives the exact location of commercial or residential properties in the UAE. To know more about how you can find it, click here.
• Then choose your community area, which is your residential area.
• Enter X and Y coordinates. If you have saved your home address on Google Maps. You can find the exact X and Y coordinates of your home’s location.
2. Enter the location you wish to find the x, y coordinates for. Long press on the location, to ‘drop a pin’.
3. The dropped pin will pop up on the bottom of your phone screen.
4. Tap on the location and scroll down. You will find the x, y coordinates to your location, which has two sets of numbers, separated by a comma.
Continue to ‘Animal Details’
• Enter pet’s name and their animal ID (this is their microchip number and it can be found on the pet’s vaccination record).
• Select animal species: cat or dog.
• Select the breed of your pet.
• Select the pets gender: male or female
• Then choose the rabies vaccination status: valid or invalid. If it is invalid, please update your pet’s vaccination.
• Then enter the expiry date of the rabies vaccination (which is found on the vaccination record).
• Select their eye colour.
• Fill out their Date of Birth.
The final step is Transaction Attachments
Upload the following documents in PDF format:
• A clear photo of the pet.
• Vaccination record of the dog or cat.
What happens next?
• You will receive a reference number through email or mobile from the Al Khawaneej Veterinary Centre or you will receive a call or SMS from the private veterinary clinic of your choice for an appointment. The appointment will be scheduled within one to two days.
• When you visit the veterinary clinic along with your pet, you will have to submit the following documents;
o Pet vaccination record. The record has to be updated with the latest rabies vaccination.
o The Emirates ID of the pet owner (for further confirmation)
o Proof of microchip (if your pet is already microchipped).
• You will then obtain the unique registration tag. Your pet’s microchip and registration tag will now be linked.
• If your lost pet is returned to a private veterinary clinic or municipality clinic, and their microchip is scanned, the veterinary clinic will be able to trace the owner through the Dubai Municipality’s veterinary registration system.
Cost of registration
If you are registering your pet with the Al Khawaneej Veterinary Clinic or at an accredited private veterinary clinic, you will need to pay the following fees:
• Registration fees for a cat or dog – Dh10 + VAT
• Knowledge and innovation fee – Dh20 + VAT
Is registration mandatory? Is it important?
Besides being useful in identifying lost animals, Dr Tamagnini asserted the importance of microchips in maintaining a pet’s health.
“The use of microchips also allows the results of tests like rabies, blood tests and genetic tests for certain diseases, to be stored alongside a cat’s unique microchip number,” Dr Tamagnini said.
Microchips are also necessary if your pet is travelling or relocating with you.
“The microchip number must always be attached to the pet's passport,” he said.
However, pet owners should be aware of the problems pets can face when it comes to having collars with tags on them.
“While collars with tags can be used to identify pets and carry contact information, these are not ideal as they can sometimes cause serious and life-threatening injury and/or can be broken or separated from the pets,” he warned.
Microchips are a permanent and accurate identification of the pet and having this information is vital if your beloved pet gets lost or stolen.
Regularly renew your pet’s registration tag
Pet owners have to get their pet’s registration tag renewed every year.
“During the yearly vaccination against rabies, your veterinary clinic will re-register and update all details of your pet and the owner will be given the Dubai Municipality tag for the new year,” Dr Tamagini said.