Compulsory Microchipping in Dogs


Compulsory microchipping for dogs in the UK is nearly here.   From 6th April 2016 new government legislation means that in the UK, it will be a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped.  If your dog is already microchipped, you should make sure your contact details are up to date on the Petlog database (you will need your pet’s microchip number).  We can help you with this, just drop in and see us with your dog and we will do a free chip check for you.  If your dog isn’t microchipped yet or you don’t know your dog’s microchip number, we can help ...
We are continuing our microchip offer until 6th April.  All microchips are reduced to £12.50, which includes implantation, registration and 4 weeks free pet insurance.  This offer is extended to all pets during this period.   For more information click here.

So how did compulsory microchipping come about?   

On the 6th February 2013 the government announced a package of measures to tackle irresponsible dog ownership and improve dog welfare.   As part of the measures the government is introducing secondary legislation under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 from 6 April 2016, requiring the microchipping of all dogs in England. From this date all dogs in England must be microchipped and registered on an authorised microchip database by the age of 8 weeks and before transfer to a new keeper. Owners will be required to keep their contact details up to date on the microchip database.   Here are some useful FAQ's:

How are microchips inserted?

We use Tracer Advance microchips, these are slimline silicone chips which come with lifetime registration with Petlog.  The microchip is injected under the skin, in the same way a vaccination is injected, except the needle is slightly larger.  The positioning of the microchip is important and varies between species.  In dogs (and cats) the microchip is implanted to sit between their shoulder blades.  No anaesthetic is required and essentially the procedure is painless, though some discomfort may be shown then it is being given.   A simple pinch to pull the skin upwards, before the needle is inserted helps to reduce any discomfort.  
Once given the microchip should sit comfortably under your pet’s skin.  Each is coded with a unique number that can be read by a scanner when passed over the chip.

Who are allowed to insert microchips?

No person may implant a microchip in a dog unless they are a vet, or a veterinary nurse working under the direction of a vet.  (Vet and veterinary nurse students are also allowed to implant under the direction of a vet.)  Non-veterinary staff are allowed to implant providing they have completed and been satisfactorily assessed, on a microchip training course approved by the Secretary of State.   

Do microchips move?

Some microchips have been known to migrate – this is where they move away from their position between the dog’s shoulder blades.   If this has happened your vet will advise you what to do and if re-chipping is necessary.  

Do microchips fail?

Microchips can fail, though this is rare.   We would recommend you ask your vet to scan your dog’s microchip every year, e.g. during their annual health check and vaccination.  This way you can be certain it is in good working order.  

What is a microchip database?

The microchip database holds you and your dog’s details.   There are several database, all of which must comply with Government legislation.  We use the microchip database company – Petlog, for our Tracer Advance microchips.   Petlog is the UK’s largest databased for microchipped pets and is managed by the Kennel Club.  The  Petlog Premium Lifetime Membership has many benefits and also allows you to update your details as often as you like, all for a one-off fee of £16. 

What details are recorded on the database?
  • The breeder's licence number and the name of the local authority by which they are licensed (if relevant) 
  • The original name given to the dog by the breeder
  • The breed of the dog, or a description if it is a crossbreed 
  • The sex of the dog 
  • The colour(s) of the dog e.g. blue, brindle and white 
  • The most accurate estimate of the dog's date of birth which the keeper can give. If the keeper is the breeder then the exact date of birth should be known 
  • The full name and address of the keeper (including the full postcode) 
  • The contact telephone number(s) for the keeper 
  • The name given to the dog by the keeper if different to those already recorded 
  • The unique microchip number (NB: This may be found on the registration certificate issued by the database operator)
What happens if my dog isn’t microchipped or if my details are not up-to-date?

If the breeder, owner or subsequent keepers of the dog do NOT update the dog’s details on a database that is compliant with the regulations, (such as Petlog), then a notice may be served requiring the keeper to microchip the dog within 21 days of the served notice. If this notice is ignored then a fine of up to £500 can be issued or an enforcer can seize the dog and microchip it at the keeper’s expense.

What age should puppies be microchipped?

There are no minimum age specifications in these regulations.  However it is advised that microchipping does not take place before the puppy is 6 weeks old.  Therefore, between 6-8 weeks old is the advised time for microchipping.

Are there any exemptions to the microchipping regulations?

Some exemptions exist which allow a delay.  This mainly concerns the certification of working dogs but it also allows a vet to certify when a delay in chipping is needed i.e. microchipping the dog could adversely affect its health.  Where this is the case the vet would issue the owner with a certificate, which includes the expiry date for microchip implantation.  (If this dog is being handed over to a new owner or keeper, this certificate must go with the dog.)  
In reality this may only occur when the puppy to be microchipped is considered to be too small to microchip and therefore could adversely affect its health.  This decision needs to be made by a vet.

How much will it cost:

MVP MICROCHIP OFFER - all our microchips are £12.50* until 6th April. This price includes the implantation by one of our vets or VNs, the initial registration fee and 4 weeks pet insurance with Petplan.   We are advising dog owners to pop in for a free chip check to make sure your dog's chip is working and we can check your details are up to date on the Petlog database.
(* Microchips cost £10 only for all dog’s under the Millennium Healthcare Package.) 

Please ring us if you have any queries about microchipping.

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