Dog microchipping: a legal requirement and a great idea
According to research by one insurance company, more than five dogs go missing in the UK every day.
A lost dog will have a much better chance of being reunited with their owners if they’re microchipped.
No owner wants to think about their dog going missing – which is why dog microchipping has been a legal requirement in England and Wales since April 2016.
To avoid a fine of up to £500, your dog must be microchipped and registered on an approved database before they reach 8 weeks of age.
UK government-approved microchipping databases
- National Veterinary Data Service
- MicroChip Central
- Animal Tracker
- Pet Identity UK
- UK PETtrac
When you buy a puppy, your breeder must ensure your new pet is microchipped before the sale is completed.
It’s a good idea to ask your breeder for proof of microchipping - this could be a microchip certificate, a pet passport or your new puppy’s vet record.
A microchip is a tiny electronic device - about the size of a grain of rice - that’s placed under your dog’s skin, usually the back of the neck. The procedure is quick, simple and relatively painless - once the microchip is in place, it won’t bother your dog in the slightest.
Each microchip has a unique 15-digit number that corresponds to the owner’s details. If your dog becomes lost or stolen and is handed in to a vet, a quick scan of their microchip can help to reunite you.
Keeping your details up-to-date
Be sure to contact your registered microchip company if you move house or change your phone number. That way, if your dog goes missing and is handed in to a vet, they’ll have no difficulty contacting you to tell you the good news.
Owners can be fined up to £500 for failing to keep their microchip database details up to date. If you do move house, be sure to add ‘update microchip details’ to your to-do list.
Did you know?
Once your dog is microchipped, they’ll still need to wear a collar and tag when they’re out in public.
Your dog’s microchip will need to be fitted by a qualified vet. Prices vary depending on your location and your practice.
If you’ve just got a new puppy, we recommend joining the Pet Health Club! Microchipping is included as part of your membership and if your pet is already chipped when you join, you’ll get a £10 voucher to spend in practice! Find out more about the Pet Health Club.
Need more info?
Chat to your local vet for expert advice on microchipping your dog.