Microchipping - are your details up to date?

Since 2016 all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales must be microchipped by 8 weeks of age. Microchips are small – about the size of a grain of rice – and are implanted harmlessly under the skin of your pet’s neck. It’s a simple and quick procedure, causing no more discomfort than a vaccination. 

Whose responsibility is it?

It is the breeder’s responsibility to ensure that puppies are microchipped before sale and the breeder’s details should be recorded as the first ‘keeper’. When buying or rescuing a dog, information should be given to you on which database the microchip is registered with and how to transfer the keepership into your own details. 

It is the keeper’s responsibility to keep those contact details up to date, should you move house or change telephone number. A microchip is only as effective as the contact details on the database. 

What happens if my dog gets lost?

Every microchip has a unique number. Authorised users like vets and dog wardens can use this number to access the keeper’s details.

When a stray dog is presented to us we scan the microchip, look up the details on the correct database and attempt to contact the owner and reunite the dog straight away. 

Unfortunately, we very often find that contact details are out of date, or the microchip has not been registered at all. 

How can I find out if my details are up to date?

If you know which database your pet is registered on, you can check the details by logging in online or contacting them by phone. You may have a confirmation letter or email with an ID or login number to use. 

To find out whether your dog is microchipped or to find out the microchip number, take them along to your local vet to have them scanned. You can use a chip checker online to find out which database the chip is registered with. 

What about cats and other animals?

Microchipping of cats is not yet compulsory but is likely to become law in England soon, following a government consultation and call for evidence in 2021. Cat owners will have to ensure their pet is microchipped before 20 weeks of age. An exact date has not yet been given; however, vets and cat rescue organisations strongly recommend that cats are microchipped in any event. 

We can also microchip many other species including rabbits, birds, ferrets and tortoises!