The law changes tomorrow, meaning all dog owners will need to have their pets microchipped.
Here’s everything you need to know from the RSPCA in one handy Q&A.
What age do puppies need to be microchipped?
Any dog over the age of eight weeks will be legally required to be microchipped and registered to an approved database by 6 April 2016. It’s up to the breeder to microchip the dog and for each subsequent new owner to ensure the details have been changed and are up-to-date.
A dog is only exempt from being microchipped if a vet certifies in writing that they cannot be microchipped for health reasons.
What happens if I don’t get my dog microchipped?
If your dog isn’t microchipped and/or registered on an approved database then you could be served with a notice ordering you to microchip your dog. You’ll have 21 days to do so or you may be liable to pay a £500 fine and could face criminal prosecution.
If your contact details change and you don’t update your details on the database, then you could also receive a notice and may be liable to pay a fine of £500.
Where can I go to get my dog microchipped?
You should contact your local vets to arrange for your dog to be microchipped. The vet will use a microchip assigned to a specific database, such as www.petlog.org.uk or www.anibase.com, and you must then ensure that your latest contact details are registered on the database.
Some local organisations and animal charities, including some of our branches, also offer microchipping programmes, as do some local authorities.
How much does it cost?
The price of microchipping your dog can vary from place to place. Some animal charities, organisations and local authorities offer free microchipping and vets can charge around £15.
I’m selling my dog to someone else, what do I do?
Before selling a dog or giving him/her away to a new owner, you must microchip them and it’s recommended that you also register the details of the new owner on the database. The new keeper is responsible for ensuring their contact details are registered.
I’m buying a puppy from a breeder, will it be microchipped?
All dog breeders are responsible for ensuring puppies are microchipped before selling them. Puppies must be microchipped by the time they are eight-weeks-old. Puppies cannot be sold until they’re eight weeks old.
Breeders must also register their details online to be recorded against the microchip for the life of the dog.
In these Regulations, a person is considered to be a ‘breeder’ if they are the owner of a dog which gives birth, whether or not they carry on a business as a breeder of dogs.
How can I find out if my dog is microchipped or if my details are up-to-date?
If your dog is microchipped you should have a confirmation letter or email including an ID or reference number as well as a microchip number. If you know which database your pet is registered on, you can check your details are up-to-date by logging in online. Or, you can contact the database team over the phone.
To find out if your dog is microchipped, or to find out the microchip number, take him along to your local vet and have him scanned. Once you have the microchip number, you can use a chip checker online to find out who he is registered with.
What if my dog’s microchip doesn’t work properly?
Microchips are designed to cover the dog’s lifespan but occasionally they fail to work.
Anyone who finds that an implanted microchip has migrated (moved), failed, or cause an adverse reaction to the dog, must report it to the microchip adverse event reporting scheme run by the Veterinary