Microchipping is compulsory for all dog owners in England.
All puppies must be microchipped and recorded on a microchip database by the time they are eight weeks old.
Any changes to an owner’s contact details must be updated on their microchip database to ensure compliance with the law. If a dog owner moves, changes contact telephone number, etc. then the dog is no longer considered microchipped under the new law and enforcement can be taken.
The owner of an unchipped dog will be given 21 days to comply and failure to do so may result in a fine of up to £500.
Check if your dog is chipped
You can look up a microchip on the Petlog website. Enter the microchip number in the search field. Once you know which database your dog’s details are recorded on then visit the relevant website.
Benefits of microchipping
If your dog is microchipped you can feel assured that should they get lost (or stolen), they're more likely to be returned to you safe and sound.
Microchipping also has a number of other welfare benefits, including:
- All puppies are traceable to their breeder helping reduce the problem of puppy farming
- Deterrent to dog theft
- Allows for rapid return of lost dogs
- Easier identification and subsequent arrests of owners culpable of animal cruelty
- Enables veterinary surgeons to contact dog owners for emergency procedures
The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014 will be enforced by the council's dog wardens and enforcement officers who are authorised to act under the regulations.
The following offences are punishable on conviction by a fine of up to level 2 on the standard scale (currently £500).
- Failure to microchip and record relevant details with a database in relation to a dog before transferring to a new keeper
- Failure to comply with a notice to properly microchip a dog (which includes updating database records)
- Where a notice to microchip and record relevant details with a database in relation to a dog is not complied with, obstructing an authorised person arranging for the dog to be properly microchipped
- Obstructing an authorised person taking possession of a dog to check if the dog is microchipped or to arrange for it to be microchipped
- Implantation of a microchip by anyone who is not a veterinary surgeon, veterinary student, or veterinary nurse/student veterinary nurse acting under the direction of a veterinary surgeon, or who has not completed approved or satisfactory training
There are no exemptions regarding the age of a dog. A dog will be legally exempt from being microchipped only when a vet certifies that it can't be microchipped for health reasons.