Microchipping is an essential part of looking after your pet, and throughout the whole of June many vet practices across the UK will be offering discounted microchips, helping both you and your pet celebrate National Microchipping Month.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is only slightly bigger than a grain of rice, taking just a few seconds to implant into your pet’s scruff (loose skin between its shoulder blades). Once your pet is chipped, unique contact details and code are immediately entered into a special database – so if your pet were to go missing and be found by the dog warden, animal shelter or vet, they can be quickly scanned, identified and reunited with you as quickly as possible.
How long does a microchip last?
Microchips last the lifetime of your pet and can’t be removed easily like collar tags; and as long as your contact details are kept up to date, you’ll be reunited with your pet even if he/she is found hundreds of miles away – even abroad.
Do I have to have my pet microchipped?
Yes. In April 2016 it became compulsory for all dog owners to ensure that their pet is microchipped.
Under the new measures all owners must ensure their dog is microchipped and their details are kept up to date. Not only will this mean the UK’s 8.5 million dogs can be returned to their owners more quickly if they wander too far from home, but it will also make it easier to track down the owners of dogs that carry out attacks on people. Microchipping is vital to reunite over 102,000 dogs which are picked up from our streets having strayed or been stolen every year.
This new law also means that owners of dogs found by the police or local authorities not to have a microchip will have the benefits explained to them and be given a short period to comply with the microchipping law. If they do not, they could face a fine of up to £500.
Where can I get my dog microchipped?
You can get your dog microchipped for free at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Blue Cross centres & Dogs Trust centres. You can also ask your vet, but they may charge a fee.
What happens if my dog is microchipped and lost?
If your pet does go missing, inform the microchip database immediately which will then then send out alerts to local vets and dog wardens on your behalf. When your dog is found the microchip is scanned – and as long as your details are up to date you will be reunited with your four-legged friend as soon as possible.
My dog hasn’t been microchipped – what should I do?
For more information about microchipping or to make an appointment for your pet to be microchipped call your vet today.
I need to update the details linked to my pets microchip – what should I do?
Firstly you’ll need your pets unique microchip number – if you haven’t got this your vet should have access to it on your pets veterinary records.
You’ll need to register your dogs microchip on one of the following government approved sites where you can also update your pets microchip details:
- Animal Tracker
- MicroChip Central
- National Veterinary Data Service
- Pet Identity UK
- UK PETtrac
If you’ve registered your dog’s microchip on a site that isn’t included in the government-approved list, then you should register it again on one of the approved sites – you could be fined £500 if your dog is lost and their details aren’t linked to one of the approved database websites.