From April 6th, all dogs in England are required, by law, to have a microchip.
Don’t worry if they’re not microchipped yet, it simply takes an inexpensive visit to the vets. Or you can find a number of organisations that carry out microchipping for free.
A microchip is a quick and easy procedure. You can get your dog microchipped at any veterinary surgery, and many organisations.
A microchip is an identifying integrated circuit placed under the skin of an animal. It is 12mm long, about the same size as a large grain of rice. It has three components: an antenna to transmit a signal; a capacitor that boosts the signal so it can be detected by a scanner and a microchip with a unique 15 digit number programmed into it. When scanned, the microchip transmits its unique number to the scanner, which is displayed on the scanner screen.
Mini Microchips are also available at just 8mm long and 1.4mm wide. They are easier to insert into the animal and can be implanted safely in smaller animals than the standard microchips.
It is hoped that the new law to make microchipping compulsory will have a multitude of benefits for dogs and their owners.
Microchipping is only effective if you keep your details up to date. If you move house or change your telephone number you must make sure that you tell the database you are registered with so that they have your up-to-date contact details.
The microchip can be scanned and matched to the owner’s contact details, which are kept on a database, such as the national PetLog database.
Local authorities and police will be issued with microchip scanners to ensure compliance. If they happen to find a dog without a microchip after April this year, the owner will be asked to have their dog microchipped as soon as possible and this will be checked. If the owner then fails to comply, they will face a fine of up to £500 per dog.