Penalties for Not Microchipping Your Dog
If you are buying a puppy, you will need to ensure it has a microchip implanted by the time it gets to eight (8) weeks old.
The following organisations will microchip dogs free of charge:
Note: Failing to get your dog microchipped or register it on an approved database can result in a £500 fine.
Who Can Microchip Dogs?
Only a trained professional can implant a dog’s microchip, usually a veterinarian. But, it can also be a vet nurse or a qualified dog groomer (or walker).
Some local council authorities offer a dog microchipping service. But, you might find that they will charge a fee for doing so.
What Happens to Microchipped Dogs?
A dog’s microchip is about the same size as a grain of rice. The number given to the chip is unique and will show up whenever someone scans the area where it was implanted.
The qualified person who conducts the microchipping will record some of your personal details (e.g. your name and address).
The main purpose of keeping your contact details alongside the microchip number on a database, is so that they would be able to return your dog if it gets lost or stolen.
But, only certain databases meet government standards for dog microchipping. Hence, you should register your dog with any of the following:
- Animal Microchips
- Animal Tracker
- MicroChip Central
- National Veterinary Data Service
- Pet Identity UK
- UK PETtrac
Important: Dogs still need to wear a collar and a tag with the owner’s name and address when in public places. Some of the rules for microchipping a dog differ if you are living in Scotland, Wales, or in Northern Ireland.
Updating Your Microchip Information
Once your dog has been microchipped, you must keep the details up to date (e.g. if you change your registered address).
The database company that registered your dog can update your personal details and contact address. Even so, some will charge a fee for updating dog microchip information.
How to Check a Dog’s Microchip Number
PETtrac microchip database provides a free service that allows you to check your microchip number and confirm where your dog is registered via ‘check-a-chip‘ website.
You can also ask a vet, dog warden, or dog rescue centre to scan your pet (e.g. dogs, cats and kittens) if you do not know your microchip number.
Before You Buy a Dog
If you are planning on buying a dog (e.g. over 8 weeks old) you should see proof that it has been microchipped. As a rule, any of the following will provide proof:
- Microchip certificate
- Pet insurance papers
- Pet passport
- Veterinarian records
Note: You can use ‘Collar Chip Change‘ (offered by Dogs Trust) to update your microchip details after buying a new dog.
Related Help Guides
Important: Microchipping has been compulsory for all dogs since April 2016 in the UK. This YouTube video from the British Veterinary Association explains how microchips work and why they are important for reuniting dogs with their owners.