Microchipping your dog – the law is changing

16th March 2016

Microchip rfid rice

Typical size of a microchip, next to a grain of rice. By Light Warrior [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

From 6th April 2016 the law is changing in England, requiring all dogs to be microchipped. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to book and appointment at your local vet to have this done. Here is a run-down of the essentials you need to know about microchipping your dog.

What is microchipping?

A microchip is a small implant about the size of a grain of rice, which is placed under your pet’s skin through a simple injection. The chip uses radio frequency identification technology to tag the animal in question with a unique number used to identify the pet. When a scanner is placed over the chip, the scanner causes the chip to activate and transmit its data back to the scanner.

Why is microchipping important?

  • The microchip scanner is one of the first ports of call every veterinary surgery, dog warden, police officer and animal shelter will use to try to identify the owner of a stray dog.
  • Whilst an identification tag on your dog’s collar is required by law, a microchip is much more reliable, it cannot “fall off” like a collar, is much harder to intentionally remove and the rate of failure of microchips is very low.
  • From the 6th April 2016, the microchipping of every dog in England will become compulsory by law and owners who do not comply with the law could face fines of up to £500.
  • Don’t forget, even if your pet is already microchipped it is just as important to keep your contact details up to date on the microchip database every time your address and/or phone number changes. Otherwise, you could still face the same fines.  If you can’t remember which microchip provider/database your pet is registered with to be able to contact them, why not dig out the old microchip paperwork or ask the person who placed your pet’s microchip (this will often be their vet) which provider they use?

For further information on microchipping, The Kennel Club have produced this factsheet which tells you everything that you need to know.

Need to book an appointment? Find your nearest vet.


Category: News