Is your dog microchipped?
The only permanent way of identifying your dog (or other pet) should they become lost.
With effect from 6 April 2016 it will be a legal requirement for all dogs in England and Wales to be microchipped and registered on an approved database.
The Compulsory Microchipping Act will be enforced by government officials like police constables, local authorities, dog wardens and community support officers. If your dog is found not to have a microchip, you could face a fine of up to £500.
What is microchipping?
A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is injected into the loose skin of your pet's neck where it sits permanently. The microchipping process is quick and no more painful than a vaccination.
Every microchip has its own 15 digit number which holds all your pet's personal details. This includes the dog’s name, address, contact numbers and any other information that may be relevant. These details are stored on an approved database so that your pet can be identified if they become lost.
It’s just as important to ensure that these details are kept up-to-date, ie should you move address or change your telephone number.
What is the deadline for having my dog microchipped?
The deadline is Wednesday, 6 April 2016.
This means that all puppies must be chipped and registered on an approved database by the time they are eight weeks old.
Does my dog still have to wear a collar and id tag if they are microchipped?
The short answer is ‘Yes’.
The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name, address and postcode of the owner engraved or written on it, or engraved on a tag. NB a phone number isn't compulsory but if they get lost it's the quickest and easiest way for you to be reunited - Su, Dorset Dogs.
Failure to do so could result in an even bigger fine of up to £5,000.
Cats will not fall under this law but at Hillside we always recommend microchipping your cat. Cats tend to wander further afield and this is particularly good if your cat isn’t very good with collars.
Chris Devlin BVSc MRCVS is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen.