A dog having consultation for microchipping

Dog microchipping: how and when to get your dog microchipped

According to research by one insurance company, more than five dogs go missing in the UK every single day.

Dog microchipping can help to reunite those lost dogs with their owners. No dog owner wants to think about their dog going missing – which is why dog microchipping has been the law in England and Wales since April 2016.

In fact, to avoid a fine of up to £500, your dog must be microchipped and registered on an approved microchipping database by the time they’re eight weeks old:

UK government-approved microchipping databases

  • National Veterinary Data Service
  • MicroChip Central
  • Animal Tracker
  • Identibase
  • Pet Identity UK
  • MicroDogID
  • Smartchip
  • Petlog
  • UK PETtrac
  • ProtectedPet

When you buy a puppy, your dog breeder must ensure your new pet is microchipped before selling them. It’s a good idea to ask for proof of microchipping from your breeder, in the form of a microchip certificate, pet passport or the vet record for your new pet. 

How does dog microchipping work? 

A microchip is a tiny electronic device – around the size of a grain of rice – that’s placed under your dog’s skin. It’s a quick, simple and relatively painless procedure, and once the microchip is in place it won’t bother your dog.  

Each microchip has a unique 15-digit number that corresponds to the owner’s details. If your dog becomes lost or stolen, a quick microchip scan can help reunite you. 

“If your dog becomes lost or stolen, a quick microchip scan can help reunite you.” 

Of course, this is all the more reason why it’s vital to keep your details up to date – so be sure to get in touch with your registered microchip company any time you move home, or change your phone number. 

As if the need to protect your pet wasn’t enough, if you change address and don’t update your details on the database, you can be fined up to £500. That’s a pretty big incentive to remember to keep your details up to date!

Did you know?

Microchipping doesn’t remove the need for your dog to wear a collar and tag any time they’re in a public place.

How much does microchipping a dog cost?

Microchips must be fitted by a professional, such as a vet. Dog microchipping prices vary, but are often included in Pet Health Club packages.

Dog microchipping advice

For expert advice on microchipping your dog, get in touch with your local vet. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.

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