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I want to microchip my pet – who should I contact?

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Microchipping your pet gives them the best chance of being identified and returned to you if they become lost or stolen.

The law is changing

From 6 April 2016, all dogs must be microchipped and registered to an approved database by the time they are eight weeks old.

If you own a dog that is not microchipped, you could be served with a notice which will require you to microchip your pet within 21 days or you could face court action and a fine of up to £500.

Any police constable, community support officer or any person authorised in writing by the Local Authority may take possession of a dog without the consent of the keeper for the purpose of checking whether it is microchipped.

Alternatively an enforcer, such as a dog warden, may seize your dog, microchip it and register the details and then recover the cost from you.

What you need to know

What is a microchip?

A microchip is a small electronic chip, around the size of a grain of rice, which is implanted under the dog's skin and contains a unique number that can be read by a scanner.

The chip contains the dog owner's contact details, so that if the dog ever goes missing or is stolen, it can be scanned by the authorities and returned to his owner swiftly and safely.

How do I update my details if my circumstances change?

Microchipping is only effective if you keep your details up to date. If you move house or change telephone numbers, make sure that you tell the database you are registered with.

The minimum details that must be recorded are the full name and address of the keeper, current telephone number, the name, sex, breed, colour and date of birth of the dog.

How do I go about getting my dog microchipped?

If you contact your local vet, they will be able to give you all of the necessary information. Alternatively, you can visit Chip My Dog to find out where free microchipping events are taking place.

Will it hurt my dog?

No, it does not hurt the dog. Using a specially designed implanting device, the microchip is injected through a sterile needle under the dog’s skin between the shoulder blades.

No anaesthetic is required and the procedure should cause no more discomfort than a standard vaccination.

Advice on microchipping your pet from the Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).