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Dog microchipping

Dog with microchip

It is compulsory for all dogs, over the age of 8 weeks, to be microchipped and for the details of the owner to be kept up to date on the microchip database.

What is a microchip and how do they work?

A microchip is a radio-frequency identification transponder covered in bio-glass no larger than a grain of rice. When a microchip scanner is passed over the skin of a dog, the implanted microchip lets out a radio frequency signal and the microchip's unique ID code is then displayed on the scanner.

Microchips do not contain a GPS (Global Positioning System) signal therefore lost or stolen dogs cannot be tracked by GPS.

Who can microchip a dog?

  • A Vet or Veterinary nurse operating under the direction of a Vet
  • A student Veterinary nurses or student Veterinary surgeon, operating under the direction of a vet
  • A person who has been on a training course approved by the Secretary of State
  • A person who has received training on implantation which included practical experience of implanting a microchip, before the new legislation came into force

Where can I get my dog microchipped?

  • Charities run free microchipping events (see chip my dog for details of local events)
  • Your local vet will offer a microchipping service. However they will often charge for this service

Does it hurt my dog?

No - it does not hurt the dog. It should be no more uncomfortable than receiving standard vaccination injections.

Are there any exemptions from microchipping dogs?

Working dogs

The first exemption applies where a veterinarian has certified the dog as a working dog and docked its tail in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2006. In such cases the time limit for the dog to be microchipped and details recorded with a database is extended to 12 weeks. The dog can be passed on to a new keeper once it has been microchipped.

Ill health

The second exemption applies where a veterinarian certifies that a dog should not be microchipped because it could adversely affect its health. In such cases a vet would have to certify that this was the case and state when the exemption expired. The dog would then need to be microchipped on the expiry of the date stated on the certificate, unless a veterinarian issued a further exemption certificate because of ongoing concerns with the dog's health.

What is the penalty for not getting my dog microchipped?

If a dog isn't microchipped we will:

1. Serve a notice on you requiring that you get the dog microchipped within 21 days.

2. If you fail to comply with the notice then you can be taken to court and fined up to £500.

3. Our dog control service can then also seize the dog, implant a microchip and recover the costs of doing so from the keeper of the dog.

Adding details to the microchip database

Microchip databases allow Local Authorities and charities to trace the registered owner of the dogs quickly and efficiently. It is estimated that lost and stray dogs cost Local Authorities and charities in excess of £32 million pounds every year.

What information is stored on the database?

  • Breed Description
  • Species
  • Date of Birth
  • Sex
  • Neutered (or not)
  • Descriptive features
  • Microchip supplier
  • Petlog registration date
  • Implanted date
  • Kennel club registration number
  • Keeper details

Is there a fee for updating details?

Some databases do charge an administration fee each time you update your details. However some databases will allow you to alter your details many times for free after the owner has made a one off premium payment, this premium payment can be as little as £16.00. You should speak to your database operator for more details.

What if I fail to keep my details on the database up to date?

We will serve a notice on the keeper of the dog requiring that they update the database within 21 days. If the owner fails to update the database then they can be fined up to £500.

List of microchipping databases

There are a number of microchipping database's. Some of the more frequently used databases are listed below:

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