What You Need To Know About Microchipping Your Dog

microchipping your dog

microchipping your dog

All dogs in Wales must be microchipped by 1st March 2015, while all dogs in England must be microchipped by 2016. If your dog has not already been microchipped, you’ll need to arrange for this to be done before it becomes compulsory.

Dogs are not the only pets that can be microchipped – cats, rabbits and horses can also be fitted with one.

Here’s what you need to know about microchipping your dog.

Why Should Your Dog Be Microchipped?

Microchipping will make it a lot easier for lost pets to be reunited with their owners. Over 100,000 pets per year have gone missing in recent times and less than half of these were returned to their owners.  If these pets had been microchipped, their owners could have been identified and contacted. Instead, many missing pets will find themselves in shelters and rescue centres or be involved in a tragic accident on their travels.

If you’re planning to travel abroad with your pet via the government’s Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), it is mandatory to get your pet microchipped as part of the eligibility criteria.

How Does Microchipping Your Dog Work?

The procedure involves a small microchip being placed under your dog’s skin. Microchips are implanted between the shoulder blades. The procedure is not carried out under anaesthetic but this should not cause your dog any distress. Microchipping should feel similar to an injection and once it has successfully been implanted, it should not feel uncomfortable and should not move around.

Microchips contain a unique code that can be picked up by an appropriate scanner. This enables owners to be identified and tracked down via their registration details. Whereas collars and tags can be lost or damaged, microchipping will offer a permanent method of identification.

Where to Get Your Dog Microchipped?

Microchipping is available at your vets or some charitable organisations such as Dog’s Trust and the Blue Cross are currently offering the service too.

What Happens Next?

Once your dog has been microchipped, the unique identification code will need to be registered and linked to your contact details. Sometimes, this will be done on your behalf (for example, Dog’s Trust will do this for pets that are microchipped through them) but either way, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your contact details are kept up-to-date if you move home.  Failure to do so will cancel out the main benefits of microchipping and it will be difficult or impossible to trace you if your dog goes missing.

If you do change address, you’ll need to pay to amend your contact details. This may be a one-off fee that covers any future updates or a fee that is payable on any subsequent update.

[Photo credit:  chadmiller]