An 'identichip' is a tiny microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, designed to be injected under an animal's skin.  Each chip carries a unique identification code which can be scanned using a small handheld device. Vets, dog wardens, rescue charities and other organisations dealing with lost pets are equipped with these scanners. 

At implantation (a straightforward injection) owner's details and identichip code are registered for life at a central database.      

When a chip is scanned in a lost pet, the owner's details can easily be found.

Cats and dogs are regularly identichipped, however nearly any species can have a chip implanted. 

It is a legal requirement now for all puppies to be microchipped by 8 weeks old.