Microchipping provides the security of knowing that should your dog stray, the chances of being reunited with them will significantly increase.
The microchipping procedure
A small electronic device, the size of a grain of rice, each microchip is coded with a unique number that can be read by a scanner and then entered onto the national database alongside the owner's details.
Using a specially designed implanting device, the microchip is injected through a sterile needle under the dog's skin between the shoulder blades. It doesn't hurt the dog and no anaesthetic is required. The procedure should cause no more discomfort than a standard vaccination. If you feel your dog is too old or sick to undergo the procedure, it’s important you raise this with your vet before 6 April so they can issue an exemption certificate. Failure to get a certificate may result in a fine.
When to get your dog microchipped
From 6 April 2016 any dog over eight weeks old, which is not a certified working dog, will have to be microchipped with an approved microchip. The details of the dog's keeper must be registered on a suitable approved database so that an authorised person may obtain these details. In most cases the keeper is defined as the person with whom the dog normally resides.
From that date no dog's ownership may be transferred unless the dog is already microchipped. Unless the previous keeper has already done so, the new keeper must register their details with an approved database. Microchips, once implanted, will stay with the dog for life so you never have to worry about renewing it.
If you are a breeder you are still responsible for getting dogs microchipped if the dog is older than eight weeks. If you’re adopting your dog from a registered and professional breeder, the dog will already be microchipped with the breeder’s details attached. Once you take ownership and responsibility of the dog, it’s important that you add your details too.
Updating your details
Your details shouldn’t need to be updated very often; only if you move home or change your primary contact details. Databases will charge a very small fee in order to cover administration costs when you need to change your details. Often there’s an affordable ‘premium’ upgrade option which will allow you to change your details as many times as you’d like throughout the dog’s life.
How you update your details depends on the provider you choose and where you have your dog microchipped. If you are unsure which microchip database your pet is registered on you can visit any of the UK microchip databases and use the microchip checker on their homepage to determine which database you need to contact. Most of the databases offer an online option to update your details, you will simply need your microchip number and the unique security password you were provided with at the point of registration.
Police officers, certain PCSOs and local authority officers will have powers to seize a dog to check that it is microchipped. If it is found not to be microchipped or with incorrect details stored on the database the officer will serve a notice requiring you to get this rectified within 21 days. Failure to comply with a notice could lead to a level two fine (currently up to £500).
If a stray dog is found to have a microchip, the local authority, vet practice or animal welfare organisation will contact the national 24 hour database to find the owner's details. The owner can then be contacted and reunited with their dog.
Microchips are not GPS devices. They remain inactive until scanned by a microchip reader which will display the unique 15 digit number. This allows the animal professional scanning your dog to contact the registering database and retrieve the keeper details the microchip is registered to.
Petlog - for information on microchipping, the law and more.
Contact us to request an appointment for micro chipping your dog. Current charges for this service are available by calling 01253 891000. There are also other places where dogs can be microchipped, including vet surgeries and animal charities.
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