What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small implant, the same size as a grain of rice, which sits underneath the skin. When the area containing the microchip is scanned, a unique 15-digit code is retrieved. This code can be registered on a national database against your details, meaning if your pet ever gets lost or stolen you can be easily identified as their owner.
Does my dog need to be microchipped?
In England, Scotland and Wales the law states that all dogs must be microchipped by 8 weeks old. This should be performed under the care of the breeder whose details will remain attached to the microchip number. If your dog is not microchipped, or you do not keep the details up to date, you could face a fine. It is also recommended that your dog wears a collar and tag with your details on when outside.
When should I get my dog microchipped?
Dogs should be microchipped by the breeder, usually around 6 weeks old. Making sure this is done is part of breeding responsibly, and it is not recommended to buy a puppy from a breeder who is not following guidelines.
Occasionally, older dogs born before the laws changed have not been microchipped. If they end up in a rescue centre they are often microchipped before being rehomed, though occasionally it may be up to you to arrange this.
Getting my dog microchipped
Placing a microchip is straightforward but should only ever be performed by a veterinary surgeon or other trained professional (such as a veterinary nurse). A special needle is used; this is larger than the ones used for a standard vaccine but makes placement quick, and most pets are unbothered by it. Some dogs may experience mild discomfort or be sensitive in the area for a few days afterwards.
Keeping your dog’s microchip details up to date
It is your responsibility to ensure the details held against the microchip number are kept up to date. This means you must contact the database the microchip is registered to if you move house, change phone number, or rehome your dog. If your dog does get lost or stolen, let the database know as most will mark this against the microchip number.
Microchipping is included with your The Healthy Pet Club membership for dogs, cats and rabbits!