This week Microchipping became compulsory for all dog owners in England, Scotland and Wales.
It is estimated that one million dogs, around one in eight of the estimated UK dog population, are not yet chipped. So to help dog owners avoid a fine of up to £500 we’ve compiled a list of everything you need to know about getting your dog microchipped.
What are the benefits?
Each year many dogs go missing and are rehomed, or in some cases put down, if their owners cannot be located. Having your pet dog chipped means that as long as the details are current, you can always be contacted if your pet dog goes missing. A microchip is a permanent form of identification and so even if your dog’s collar and ID tag falls off, you can still be reunited with your pet.
What actually is a microchip?
A microchip is a tiny electronic chip about the size of a grain of rice which is inserted under the loose skin on the back of the dog’s neck. It contains a unique code which can be read by a scanner and matched to the owner’s contact details, which are stored on a central database. It is a requirement of the law that owners keep their dog’s microchip information up-to-date. Should your dog become lost or stolen these details can be used to reunite you with your pet.
How do I get my dog microchipped?
Dogs can get microchipped at your local veterinary practice or animal rehoming centre.
Some vets, local authorities and charities, such as the Dogs Trust, will microchip dogs for no charge. The Dogs Trust are currently offering free microchipping throughout the UK through their rehoming centres and community events.
What will happen if I don’t get my dog microchipped?
If your dog does not have a microchip with up-to-date information stored on an approved database, you may be served a notice giving you up to 21 days to comply with the law or face a fine of up to £500 on conviction.
What if I am about to buy a new dog?
All dogs are legally required to have been chipped by the time they are eight weeks old. It is now a requirement for breeders to have puppies microchipped before they are sold, and to document the names and details of the new owners.
It is still a requirement for all pet dogs to wear a collar and a tag stating the name and address of their owner when in public areas.
Are there any exceptions to the law?
The only exception is for pet dogs that cannot be microchipped for health reasons, certified by a vet.
How can pet insurance help?
Microchipping is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Pet insurance may help you to cover the cost of advertising and reward should your dog be lost or stolen and can also cover vet’s bills for unexpected treatment. PayingTooMuch.com, a leading independent online price comparison website, can help you to find the most competitive price for your pet insurance.