From 6th April 2016 it will be a legal requirement for all dogs over the age of 8 weeks in England, Scotland and Wales to be microchipped. So we’ve put together a short guide on everything you need to know about pet microchipping…
What is microchipping?
Pet microchipping is a very simple and quick procedure that once carried out will give your dog the best chance of being reunited with you should they become lost or stolen.
The microchip is the same size as a grain of rice and made from a special type of indestructible glass compatible with living tissue. The chip is implanted under the skin, usually on the back of the neck, with a special needle and syringe by a vet or trained microchip implanter. No anaesthetic is required and the whole process should be no more painful than a routine vaccination – some pets may not even feel it being implanted!
Every microchip has a unique alphanumeric code that is attached to your details. These will need to be registered by you, the owner, and kept up-to-date should you change your address or number. All of this can be done easily online from the comfort of your home. If your details are not kept up-to-date then your dog will not be considered microchipped and you face the risk of a hefty fine.
Why should I microchip my pet?
Every year thousands of pets become lost or stolen, and sadly many are never reunited with their owners. Although identification collars and ID tags are required to be worn by law, often they can fall off or become damaged.
Microchipping provides your pet with a permanent method of identification and the best chance of being returned to you.
When a missing pet is found, he or she will be scanned by a vet or animal professional with a special device to reveal their microchip’s 15-digit number and the database they’re registered with. If all your details are up-to-date then it really will be a fairy tale ending!
Where can I get my pet microchipped?
Your vet can microchip your dog or depending on which database you choose to register your pet under you can search for a local microchip implanter online. Petlog is one of the largest databases for microchipped pets.
Microchipping usually costs between £20-£30, however charities such as Dogs Trust run free microchipping events across the UK.
The new microchipping legislation:
- All dogs must be microchipped and registered on one of the authorised commercial databases by the age of 8 weeks
- Breeders must microchip a dog before you purchase it. Always check before you buy and update the database with your details as soon as you get home with your new pup
- As a pet owner, you must ensure all your contact details are up-to-date on the database your pet is registered with. For example, if you move or change your telephone number, your dog will no longer be considered microchipped under the regulations until you update your details
- If your dog is not microchipped or registered after 6th April, you will be served with a 21-day notice to make this happen. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to £500
Here are few UK microchip databases you can register your pet with: