Dog owners have a responsibility under the law to prevent their dogs from straying and causing injury or damage.
Microchipping is a permanent method to help ensure your dog's safe return if it is unfortunate enough to become lost. You are, however, still required to ensure that your dog is identifiable by means of a collar and tag with your name and contact number.
Microchipping is recognised as the most effective and secure way of permanently identifying a pet. Approximately 1.5 million dogs and cats have been microchipped since 1989. This figure continues to grow at an estimated 7,500 registrations per week.
With the introduction of The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 (External Link), all dogs must be chipped and registered to an approved database by the time they are eight weeks old.
What is microchipping?
The microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is encased in a bio-compatible glass, the same used in human pacemakers, to prevent rejection from the animal's body. In dogs, the microchip is inserted into the loose skin on the back of the dog's neck using a specially designed implanting device. Insertion is a quick and easy process that causes no more discomfort than a usual vaccination. The microchip will last for the animal's lifetime.
How does the microchip work?
Each microchip carries a unique number that is logged on to a national database. Against this number key information is stored about the dog and its owner, including the dog's name and the owner's name and address This information is securely held by the company and can only be accessed by vets or dog wardens. When a scanner is passed over the microchip low frequency radio waves created by the scanner activate the microchip, allowing the unique number to be read.
Approximately 10,000 scanners are in use throughout the UK and can be found at most veterinary practices, councils and animal welfare groups.
We scan all dogs we find straying. Dogs that are microchipped are reunited with their owners once a release fee has been paid. In all other cases the dog will be taken to the City Dogs Home and we will use the microchip details to contact the owner and advise them that we are holding the dog.
How much does it cost?
Some vets and animal charities may do this for free. There is generally a charge to register or update your contact details.
The dog warden service is not currently providing a microchipping service.
Last updated 12 April 2018