When you get a new dog, there are a thousand things on your mind; puppy-proofing the house, house-training them, making sure they get all their vaccinations on time, and of course making sure that you get plenty of cute pictures to show your friends. One thing that is going to be even more important as of next year is making sure that they’re microchipped.
As of the 6th April 2016, it will be compulsory for all dogs in England over the age of eight weeks to be microchipped, under new laws made back in February. Owners who fail to do so will first be served a notice, and then may be fined £500 if they don’t comply. The only exemption will be if a vet has certified that a dog is not fit to be microchipped.
The laws were introduced to combat the number of strays on Britain’s streets; there are literally thousands of stray dogs, and according to figures from the Dog’s Trust, less than half are able to be returned to their owners.
By requiring dog owners to have their pets microchipped and registered, it should become much easier to reunite lost and stolen pets with their families.
So, what do you need to know about these laws?
If you have a dog who isn’t microchipped, now is the time to do it. Many organisations, including vets, animal welfare organisations and some local authorities, can offer free microchipping. It doesn’t hurt the dog; the microchip is about the size of a grain of rice, and is injected under the skin between their shoulders with a special implanting device, causing no more discomfort than a vaccination.
Once in place, your dog’s microchip can easily be scanned to reveal their identity number. This can be looked up on the database to find the details of the owner, so that they can be returned safely home.
If your dog is microchipped, make sure that their details are up to date. There are several databases which your dog’s microchip might be registered with – so long as you know which one, you should be able to update their details easily online. There may be a fee for this, but it’s essential that you keep it up to date, otherwise you may have difficulty finding your dog if they’re lost.
Once the new rules come into force, breeders will be responsible for ensuring that puppies are microchipped before they are sold or given to new owners. This will ensure that the dog can always be traced back to the breeder, which may help to encourage responsible breeding and reduce the incidence of inherited health problems.
The law on microchipping does not replace the legal requirement for your dog to wear a collar and tag with your name and address on it when out in public; it’s an addition to these requirements.
Here at Dog School, we’re here to help make your dog-owning days a doddle; whether you’re looking for training classes or dog walking services in Surrey, we can help! For more information, get in touch with us on 07734 447 812. You can also keep up to date with us on Facebook and on Twitter.