If you’re a dog owner, you may or may not have noticed that some changes were recently made regarding your dog’s identification.
If you did miss the news, then you could be liable to pay a pretty big fine, but fear not, as we’ve got everything you need to know covered.
On the 6th of April this year, it became compulsory for all dogs to be microchipped under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015.
As well has having your dog microchipped, you also need to make sure that your details, including your address and phone number, are kept up to date on a database so that they can easily be traced should anything happen.
What is it?
Microchipping is a quick and painless procedure, where a chip which is no bigger than a grain of rice is implanted under the dog’s skin, in between the shoulder blades.
The chips all have their own unique code which can be scanned if your dog every got lost and matched up with your details on the database.
It’s very similar to have an injection as a human, it might be a little uncomfortable if your dog has never had one before but it certainly won’t be painful.
Why do I need to do it?
If your dog is lost or stolen, having them microchipped vastly increases your chance of being reunited with them.
A recent report suggested that as many as 70,000 pets were missing in the UK, and no matter how well you look after them, it’s always a possibility that you need to be aware of.
The amount of missing pets also costs the authorities millions of pounds in rehoming them, and it’s hoped that this new system will help to ease this burden.
How much does it cost?
This will vary depending on where you have the procedure done. The average cost from your local vet is around £15 although many charities and organisations will do it for free.
Do puppies have to be microchipped?
Dogs under the age of eight weeks will not need to be microchipped although it’s advised that you do so as soon as possible.
If you’ve purchased your puppy from a breeder however, they should have had them microchipped.
The only other way that your dog might be exempt is for health reasons.
What if I don’t have my dog microchipped?
If your dog isn’t microchipped, you’ll initially be served with a notice ordering you to do so within 21 days.
If you still don’t have the procedure done, then you could be liable to pay up to £500 in fines and may even have to face criminal prosecution.
It’s also important that you keep your registered details up to date, as not doing so could lead to the same punishment as not having the chip at all.
What if I want to sell my dog?
It’s your responsibility to have your dog chipped and registered before selling it, at which point the responsibility falls to the new owner to keep the details up to date.
What if my dog is imported?
Microchips should work across the EU and all the details will be able to be accessed no matter what database they are stored on.
It may seem like a bit of an inconvenience, but having your dog microchipped is not only important to avoid facing a big fine, but it’s also important for making sure your dog keeps safe in the event that you do lose them.
For more information on dog ID and the law, check out this infographic from DoggieTags.co.uk.