All dogs must be microchipped
All dogs must be microchipped and registered on an approved database by the time they are eight weeks old.
A microchip is a small electronic chip, around the size of a grain of rice, which is implanted under the dog's skin.
It contains a unique number that can be read by a scanner and is logged on a national database.
The microchip is injected through a sterile needle under the dog's skin between the shoulder blades and does not hurt the dog.
Information recorded on the microchip includes:
- Date of birth
- Colour of the dog
- Owner's details including name, address and telephone number
- The original name given to the dog by the breeder
- The breeder's licence number
How to get your dog microchipped
You can take your dog to any Veterinary Clinic. Fees may apply.
Why you must microchip your dog
It is compulsory throughout the UK for all dog owners to have their dogs microchipped.
The dog owner's contact details are logged on a central database so if a dog is found, it can be scanned and returned to the owner.
As a dog owner, you must make sure your dog is chipped and that your details are kept up-to-date on the database if your circumstances change.
Benefits of microchipping your dog include:
- Allows for quicker return of lost dogs to owners
- Puppies are traceable to their breeder, which reduces the problem of puppy farming and lessening the chance of infectious diseases and inherited defects
- Helps to prevent dog theft
- Easier identification of owners guilty of animal cruelty
- Helps vets contact owners for emergency procedures
Information for dog breeders
A dog's breeder (the registered owner of the mother of the pups) is the dog's first keeper.
It is the breeder's responsibility to get their puppies microchipped and recorded on a database - it is an offence if they are not listed as the first keepers.
The breeder cannot record the new owner as the first keeper of a puppy.
It is a legal requirement that puppies must be microchipped by the time they are eight weeks old.
When the compulsory microchipping for dogs came into effect
The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014 came into effect on Wednesday 6 April 2016.
This means all dogs aged 8 weeks and over must now be microchipped and registered on an approved DEFRA microchipping database.
Who is responsible for microchipping puppies
The puppy is required by law to have been microchipped by its original keeper or breeder before being sold.
If you have purchased a dog that is not microchipped, you need to make sure that you get your dog microchipped and registered onto an approved DEFRA microchipping database within 21 days of purchase.
If you have purchased a dog from a breeder that hasn't been microchipped, then the breeder has not complied with the law and it would be sensible to question whether the breeder is a responsible person to purchase a dog from.
Documentation you need to have to get a dog microchipped
Guidance on this will be provided by the microchip supplier / implanter on enquiry.
The minimum age a puppy has to be before being chipped
There is no minimum age specified in the regulations.
The puppy only has to be microchipped and registered to an approved database by the time they are 8 weeks old.
The government advises that the dog must be healthy enough to be implanted.
For further guidance, please contact your local vet.
Fines / penalties
Under the regulations, your dog is considered microchipped when you:
- Implant the dog with a chip, and
- Register your details on an approved database
If you do not do this then you have not complied with the regulations and a notice may be served.
If you do not microchip your dog within 21 days of the notice being served, then you will be liable to pay a fine of £500.
Fines/ penalties if you don't keep your database details up to date
If any keeper changes address or contact details etc, then the dog is no longer considered microchipped under the regulations and enforcement action can be taken.
If the keeper does not update their details within 21 days of the notice being served, then they will be liable to pay a fine of £500.
Purpose of a microchip database
When a pet is microchipped, the unique microchip number and your contact details, along with important information on the pet, is then held in a secure location which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, by any Authorised Agent who finds the pet.
This will allow a pet to be quickly and safely reunited with you and your family.