Whether they're lost, stolen or have gone on an extended walk, your pet will get home sooner if they're microchipped.
- In the UK, it's a legal requirement to microchip your dog
- A microchip makes it easy to return lost pets to their owners
- Your details are stored on a national database
What is microchipping?A microchip is a tiny radio device, the size of a grain of rice, that's inserted under the skin between your pet's shoulder blades.
This microchip contains a unique identifying number which will show up when pet is scanned. The owner's contact details are logged against each number and held on a national database.
Microchips are made of a special non-reactive material, so the chip shouldn't cause a problem for your pet during its lifetime. Inserting a microchip is a simple procedure, similar to an injection, so is unlikely to cause your pet any discomfort.
Inserting a microchip is a simple procedure, similar to an injection, so is unlikely to cause your pet any discomfort.
Why should I get my pet microchipped?A microchip makes it easy to be reunited with your pet quickly once it's found and scanned.
In cases where ownership of a pet is disputed, a microchip registered in your name may help you recover your pet.
If your cat doesn't wear a collar, a microchip is the best way to formally identify the owner.
Dogs must wear an identity tag when they're out in public, but a microchip will always be with them if they wander off and slip their collar.
Since April 2016, it's been a legal requirement to get a dog microchipped and registered on an approved database if they're eight weeks or older. You could be fined £500 or even face criminal prosecution if you don't get your dog microchipped.
Where can I get my dog microchipped?The microchip should only be inserted by a vet or qualified professional. Nearly all vets will be able to microchip your pet. Some animal organisations, like the PDSA, also offer a microchipping service.
Expect to pay about £10-£15 to get your pet microchipped. In some cases, you can get your pet chipped for free. Speak to your vet about your options.
What else do I need to know?
- It's not just dogs and cats that can be microchipped. Many animals can be microchipped, including rabbits and horses. If you're worried about your pet being stolen or lost, getting it microchipped will help you be reunited more quickly
- Check your pet insurance policy, as companies like LV= provide cover for the cost of advertising your lost pet and paying out a reward for its safe return
- It's essential you keep your contact details up to date on the microchip database. If you're moving home or you become the owner of a new pet, make sure you update your details. Then, if your pet goes missing, you'll be contacted when it's found
- If you own a dog and you don't update your contact details when they change, you could be breaching the legal requirement to have your dog microchipped
- When buying or rehoming a puppy, make sure the breeder has microchipped the animal before you take it home. All puppies must be microchipped before they are eight weeks old. The breeder will give you the details of the microchipping service so you can update the database details with your contact information
If you're planning on taking your pet abroad, please remember to have your pet's microchip checked and confirmed as working properly no more than 30 days before you leave the UK.
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