Pet Microchipping Advice

It is mandatory throughout the United Kingdom for all dog owners to have their dogs microchipped and recorded with a government compliant microchip database.

There is currently no law extending this requirement to cats but we expect this will be brought into law soon and strongly recommend microchipping your cats too. Losing your pet is very distressing and without reliable identification, it is very difficult to reunite a lost pet with its owner. Microchipping is a simple way of permanent identification. 

The procedure

A tiny microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) is injected by your vet under the loose skin of your pet’s neck, which will give your pet his own personal identification number. It’s quick and very safe and your pet is unlikely to feel anything.

Should your pet stray or get lost and get handed in to a veterinary surgery, animal welfare group, the police or local authority, they have special hand held scanners that can detect and “read” the unique number on the microchip. Once your pet’s unique number has been found and used to obtain the owner's information from the relevant registration database, you will be reunited without further delay.

Legal obligation

However, it is important to stress that every dog owner is also legally obliged to ensure that their dog is wearing a collar and identification disc in public areas, even if they have a microchip. The disc should have the owner's surname and address on it.

If a stray dog is found not wearing a tag with this information, owners can be fined quite heavily! An identification disc on a collar makes it easy to see where a lost dog has come from but a collar can also be easily removed, particularly from a stolen dog.

Keeping your details up-to-date is also important

Please note that under the law you can also get fined if your details for your dog’s microchip are out-of-date. Accordingly if, for example, you have moved address, you must ensure you have registered your new address on the database for your pet’s microchip.

Common UK microchip databases:

•  Anibase: 01904 487600
•  PetIdentity: 01744 733229
•  PetLog: 0844 4633999
•  Pet Protect: 0800 0778558
•  Pettrac: 0800 6529977
•  Smarttrac: 0844 5420999

Information for dog breeders

If you are a breeder in the UK, you must ensure that all puppies are microchipped and recorded on a government compliant database by the time they are eight weeks old and before they go to the new owner. It’s essential that you, rather than the puppy buyer, are the first recorded keeper on the database. You should provide the new owner with documentation allowing them to transfer keepership on the database.

Information for puppy buyers

Your puppy should have been microchipped by the breeder by eight weeks of age and before you take them home. They should also supply the documentation you will need to transfer the keepership into your own details.


Further Advice