Wednesday April 6th saw a new law come into effect, which stated that all dogs must be micro chipped, but what does this mean for you?
Well the most important thing to know is that you could be facing a hefty fine if you don’t comply!
When does the law change?
It already has! The law came into effect in Wednesday April 6th, so if your dog isn’t microchipped as of now, technically you’re breaking the law!
Not only do you need to have your dog chipped, but you also need to ensure that your contact details such as address and phone number are registered to an official database, and that these details are kept up to date.
What is it?
The microchipping procedure is very straightforward and painless. A tiny rice sized chip is inserted under the dog’s skin by a vet, in between the shoulder blades.
The chips are all unique and can then be matched to your details on the database.
There’s no need to worry about any pain or distress to the dog, as the procedure is a simple injection, just like a vaccination.
For smaller breeds of dogs, you may choose to have an even smaller chip implanted if you’re worried.
Why has it been introduced?
The law has been introduced to try and crack down on dogs being stolen or abandoned.
If the worst was to happen, you would be much more likely to be reunited with your lost pet, as if somebody finds it, it can be scanned and your details should pop up!
Losing a dog can cause a lot of stress, especially if you have younger children, so hopefully the procedure should give everyone a bit more peace of mind.
According to The Kennel Club, there are more than 60,000 dogs reported missing a year, although many are never reunited with their owners, leading to a whopping £57 million bill for local authorities and charities to look after and rehouse these animals.
Where can I get it done and how much will it cost?
You’re probably best to contact your local vet, although charities and local authorities are also offering the service.
As for how much it costs, it depends on where you have the procedure done. The Dogs Trust have been offering the procedure for free.
At the vets, you’re likely looking at a charge of about £15, but these do vary depending on your vet.
How old does my dog need to be?
The law applies to all dogs over the age of eight. If you’re buying a new puppy from now on though, it should be up the breeder to ensure that they are microchipped.
Once the dog is yours, the responsibility falls to you to keep the details on the database up to date.
While some dogs may be deemed exempt from the law on medical grounds, this is extremely uncommon.
What if my dog isn’t microchipped?
If you are found to be in possession of a dog which is not microchipped, you will initially be served with a notice ordering you to have them microchipped.
If you don’t do so within 21 days, you will have to a £500 fine and could even face criminal proceedings.
The same penalties apply if you fail to keep your details up to date on the database.
What about dog tags?
Any dog in a public place is still required to wear a collar with the name and address of the owner either engraved or written on it, or on a personalised dog tag.
While microchipping is important, it only acts as a backup, and the collar and tag are the easiest way to reunite a lost dog with its owner.