Microchipping your pet
A tiny microchip can be inserted under the animal's skin, or in the neck for horses. This gives the pet their own unique code. 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. Many pets can be microchipped including cats, dogs, rabbits, and horses. Check with your vet for advice, as it will depend on the species, size, and condition of your animal. If they become lost and found, the dog warden, vet or some local charities will scan the chip and match to owner’s details.
The legal bit
Collars and tags can be removed but microchips are designed to last a pet lifelong. It is a legal requirement to have any dog over the age of eight week and cats over the age of 20 weeks microchipped and to keep your details up to date. If your dog or cat is not microchipped and registered on an approved database, then you could be served with a notice ordering you to microchip your dog/ cat. You will have 21 days to do so, or you may be liable to pay a £500 fine and could face criminal prosecution. If your contact details change and you do not update your details on the database, then you could also receive a notice and may be liable to pay a fine of £500.
A dog is only exempt from being microchipped if a vet certifies in writing that they cannot be microchipped for health reasons.
All dog breeders are responsible for ensuring puppies are microchipped before selling them. Puppies cannot be sold until they are eight weeks old and must be microchipped at the point of sale. If you are buying a puppy, make sure it's microchipped before taking them home.
Breeders must also register their details on the database to be recorded against the microchip for the life of the dog. A person is considered to be a 'breeder' if they are the owner of a dog which gives birth, whether or not they carry on a business as a breeder of dogs.