Microchipping Dogs & The Law - What You Need To Know


Is your dog microchipped?

Did you know that since April 2016 it is a requirement by law to have your dog microchipped with up-to-date contact details? Here is what the law says plus answers to your microchip questions.

What does the law say?

The law says that puppies must be microchipped before they’re eight weeks old, which means microchipping is the dog breeder’s responsibility. Under Lucy’s Law puppies shouldn’t be sold until they’re eight weeks old.

It is crucial that you check a puppy or dog is microchipped before taking the leap to rehoming/purchasing.

Without having their dog microchipped, owners could face a fine of up to £500.

The relevant law is Microchipping of Dogs Act (England) Regulations. The Act says all dogs must have a microchip loaded with information including breed, sex, colour and their keepers’ details.

Does the microchip prove ownership?

No. The microchip information does not denote ownership, but instead is the 'registered keeper'. In most cases, the owner and registered keeper are the same person. It is a requirement that the keeper information be kept up to date and accurate.

What is a microchip?

A microchip is an implantable computer chip, no bigger than a grain of rice, which holds your pet's unique identification number. It is completely harmless and painless and once implanted you would never know it's there.

When the microchip is scanned, we can search the number on the national database to see the pet's details and the pet owner's contact details.  

It's important to keep the registered details up-to-date because if your dog is lost, a quick scan will enable your pet a swifty return home. Without a microchip the consequences of a missing dog could be much more severe.

My dog isn't microchipped. Will I get in trouble?

If your dog isn't microchipped then you simply need to get it sorted. If your dog goes missing the microchip could be the only way of them getting home to you. Also, if found without a microchip you will likely be instructed to get it microchipped or face possible fines.

More info on our microchipping service is available here. Please contact us to speak to one of our nurse team if you have any questions or would like to book a microchipping appointment.

What if I have out-of-date registration details?

In most cases you will have an online account where you can update your chip details, although there may be a small fee to do this. If in doubt, speak to a member of our nurse team. We can always scan your dog's chip and give you support in getting the details updated.

Does my cat need a microchip?

Currently, the law does not require a cat to be microchipped, but this will change soon. The law will likely be similar to the law for dogs, but will require kittens to be microchipped within 20 weeks.

Despite it not being a legal requirement, we strongly advise you get your cat microchipped, even if they are an indoors house-cat. We regularly see cats who are lost with no way to reconnect them to their owners. It's heartbreaking, and can be easily avoided with a microchip. If you would like your cat microchipping, then please speak to one of our team today.