Identification and traceability is an important part of responsible pet ownership. It provides permanent identification for your pet and gives them the best chance of being reunited with you should they happen to go missing.
Virtually any pet can be fitted with an identity microchip – including dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, snakes, parrots, fish and even tortoises! Every year thousands of pets are reunited with their owners because they have been microchipped.
A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice, and is implanted just under the skin of dogs and cats. The chip is implanted by an injection between the shoulder blades. The microchip is pre-programmed with an identification number that is read by a microchip scanner. This identification number is registered on a database.
In April 2016 the law was changed so that all dog owners in England, Scotland and Wales must have their dog’s microchipped and recorded with a government compliant microchip database. Dog breeders, meanwhile, must ensure that puppies are microchipped and recorded by the time they are eight weeks old and before they are sold.
In Northern Ireland compulsory microchipping became a requirement for a dog licence from April 2012 under the Dogs (Amendment) Act (NI) 2011. Full information on compulsory microchipping can be found on www.gov.uk
Since 2012, if you travel with your pet, all dogs, cats and pet ferrets entering the UK from an EU or approved third country must:
If you are trying to find a lost dog – walk around the area the dog went missing with a lead, some treats and maybe the dog’s favourite toy. The scents of all these things may bring your lost dog back to you.