You may have heard that microchipping will soon become a legal requirement for all dogs in the UK. It’s already compulsory in Northern Ireland, and from 6 April 2016, it will become compulsory in England, Wales and Scotland too. So what does this mean for you?
The law will require all dogs over eight weeks of age to be microchipped, and for the details of the owner to be kept up-to-date on an approved database. If you already own a dog that isn’t microchipped, then it’s important to get this done as soon as possible.
All vets offer microchipping, or can advise of local events where you can get this done by a suitably qualified person. It’s a simple, painless procedure similar to an injection, and involves implanting a tiny radio chip in the loose skin between the dog’s shoulder blades.
When the chip is scanned it shows their unique identification number, which is logged on the national database and can be matched against your contact details. You supply your details to the database company when the chip is implanted, and it’s also important to remember to update them if these details ever change.
If you own a dog that is already microchipped, then all you need to do is make sure that your details are up to date on the database. Your paperwork will have the name and number of your microchip company on, but if you’re not sure then the PDSA’s website has contact details for the main database providers.
If you’re considering buying or adopting a dog then the previous owner should have had them microchipped. Just ask for the microchip number and you can then contact the database company to register your details as the new owner.
If you’re considering buying a puppy, then remember that they shouldn’t be separated from their mum until they are eight-weeks-old. So the seller should have the puppy microchipped prior to selling and then pass you the paperwork to register your details when you collect your new family member.
Microchipping is the most permanent way of identifying your dog, so should they ever become lost or stolen this will vastly increase the chances of you being reunited.
If you have more questions then there is plenty of information on the PDSA’s website, as well as some links to help you find free microchipping events near you.