By law, all dogs in England and Wales must be microchipped and registered by the time they are eight weeks old. At this moment in time, this law doesn’t include cats, but it is strongly recommended that cats are microchipped at eight weeks old too, especially if they like to roam.
Why microchipping is so important:
Not only is it a legal requirement, but microchipping your pet helps to keep it safe and ensures that it is easily returned to you. If your pet is lost, stolen or picked up by the authorities then a microchip greatly increases the chances of reuniting you.
Every year 250,000 pets go missing and each unique microchip number is helping to greatly reduce this figure.
What is a microchip and where does it go?
A microchip is a very small electronic device, about the size of a grain of rice, that is implanted under your pet’s skin between their shoulder blades.
Each microchip has a protective shell that prevents any kind of skin reaction and stops the chip from moving around. A single microchip usually lasts a lifetime.
Where can I get my pet microchipped?
Vets often perform microchipping alongside eight-week vaccinations but there are many other places that offer the service, such as Pets at Home stores, Companion Care surgeries, as well as some local animal charities and authorities. While prices will vary, the cost is usually around £15 and some charities even offer it for free.
What happens if I move house?
Keep all microchip information easily accessible, such as the company that the chip is registered with, so that you can easily inform them of a change to contact details. Updating the microchip database about these changes is covered in the law, particularly if your pet is a dog.
If you can’t remember the database that your microchip provider uses, then you could try contacting your vet to see if they have your pet’s microchip number. If not then you may have to take your pet in to have them scanned – this can also be done at your vet, which is normally a free service.
What should I do if my pet goes missing?
If your pet is ever taken to a vet or animal warden then they will be scanned for a chip and you will be contacted as soon as possible. If you’re worried that your pet hasn’t been found, start by contacting the database company which holds their contact details, as well as all vets’ practices in the area and the local animal warden.
If your pet is microchipped it has the absolute highest chance of finding its way back to you, and you will be contacted as soon as possible.