MICROCHIPPING YOUR PET.
Microchipping your cat, dog or rabbit, gives you the best chance of being reunited with your pet if they are lost or stolen.
It is a legal requirement in the England, Scotland and Wales for a dog to be microchipped and to have ID on his collar. You can be fined up to £500 if your dog is not microchipped.
All puppies must be microchipped by the breeder before sale and a buyer should be given the details of the chip in order to add the new owner’s details immediately. All dogs must be microchipped by the time they are 8 weeks old.
If a breeder is offering a puppy without a chip or can’t give the chip details, walk away. They are prepared to break the law for a sale and that is a huge red flag.
WHAT IS A MICROCHIP
A pet’s microchip has an individual code which when scanned can be matched to the details of the owner. Details are kept on a database. At the moment there are 15 DEFRA approved pet databases in the UK. A full list of them and more information can be found here
A vet can microchip your pet. It usually costs under £20. Ask your local council or animal shelters if there are any free or reduced rate, local pet chipping events.
Always keep the details of your pet’s microchip up to date. Most databases make a small charge for every change, some will allow changes for free. Importantly, when your vet microchips your pet, ask if they have registered the chip to your name and address ,or do you need to do that when you get home. Make sure your vet gives you the microchip number, you will need this to register. Ask them which database you need to use to add your details to the chip.
Remember as soon as you buy or adopt a new pet, get their microchip read by a vet. If a pet has been stolen an alert may have been added to their chip to warn an unsuspecting new buyer.
Most of the animals left unclaimed in council pounds are either not chipped or their chip details are out of date. A dog in a council pound can be re homed or destroyed after 7 days if they are not chipped or if the chip details are incorrect and they are not claimed. Chipping your pet is not only a legal requirement for dogs but is also the best choice to keep your pet safe. Microchipping can get your pet home to you quickly or even save his life if he goes missing or is stolen.