FAQs – Compulsory Dog Microchipping
How old does my puppy have to be before I can get them microchipped?
There is no minimum age for puppy microchipping, but they have to be microchipped and registered to an approved database by the time they are 8 weeks old. The government advises that the dog be healthy enough to be implanted, and sufficient time is allowed for the database to process the registration in order to ensure that the dog is compliant with the regulations by the time they are 8 weeks.
Is there a fine/penalty if I don’t get my dog microchipped?
Yes. Under the regulations, your dog is microchipped when you implant the dog with a chip and register your details on an approved database (we will do this for you at the time of implantation). If you don’t get your dog microchipped or your details registered, then it will be considered as not complying with the regulations and a notice may be served. The keeper then has 21 days after the notice is served to microchip their dog before being fined £500.
What if I move or change my phone number. Is there a fine or penalty for not keeping those details up to date?
Yes. As above, if your details aren’t up to date it will be considered as not complying and a notice may be served. If you then don’t get your details up to date within 21 days, the fine of £500 will be liable.
Do I have to pay to change my details?
The cost of implantation of the microchip includes the basic registration on a database. If there is subsequently a change of details you will need to pay a nominal amount (currently £6 with Anibase) to the database company to make changes. Anibase and Petlog both also offer a membership fee of between £16 and £18 for which you can change your details as many times as you wish as well as receiving additional benefits – please see either the Petlog or Anibase websites for further details and current pricing.
Is compulsory microchipping for dogs government controlled?
The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014 is enforced by local authorities, police constables, community support officers and any other person which the Secretary of State may authorise to act as an enforcer of the regulations.
Is compulsory microchipping now proof of ownership / keepership?
No, microchipping is not be proof of ‘ownership’. The words ‘owner’ and ‘ownership’ have been replaced by the words ‘keeper’ and ‘keepership’ . The words ‘legally responsible’ are used if your dog strays, bites or causes any unjust damage. As the keeper of the dog you are ‘liable’ for the dog that is registered to you.
I’m thinking of getting a dog. How long will I have before I need to get them microchipped if they aren’t already?
From the 6th of April 2016, all dogs must have been microchipped and registered to an approved database by the time they were 8 weeks old. Therefore any dog or puppy you get should already be chipped and the papers given to you on change of keepership. If you get a dog that ISN’T already microchipped, you will need to do this as soon as possible, and if a notice is served you will have 21 days in which to do this.
If I buy a puppy can the breeder register me as the first keeper instead of themselves?
No. The breeder must ALWAYS be the first registered keeper of the puppies and it will be illegal for the breeder to not be listed as a keeper on the database. The breeder must also provide microchipping documents to you to ensure the new owner can update their details in order to comply with the law.
Does it cost money to register a transfer of ownership?
Yes. On Anibase this is currently £6, or you can upgrade to their LOCATE service for £17.95, which includes unlimited changes over a period of 8 years as well as help if your pet goes missing. On Petlog the fee for change of ownership is currently £16, but this includes the cost of transfer of keepership and provides the dog with the Petlog Premium service so that there are no further costs to pay for the lifetime of the dog.
What happens if the puppy they give to me doesn’t match the microchip number?
All breeders must ensure that they can clearly identify that the microchipping paperwork matches the puppy being sold to the new owner.
How do I know if my puppy or dogs are registered on a national database?
If you’re concerned you can either pop in and ask us to scan your pet and check on the national databases (obviously there’s no charge for this!) or if you’ve been given a chip number you can search online.
As part of the regulations for compulsory microchipping of dogs, from 2016 all compliant pet microchip databases are required to provide access to other compliant databases to identify where a microchip is registered. A good place to start would be www.check-a-chip.co.uk
When you search for a pet microchip number, the system automatically checks all compliant databases to find out which pet microchip database holds the registration details for that chip. It doesn’t ever display personal information, just the registration status. You can then go on to search the database it gives you by following the online guidance on how to do this.
Will the chip be recognised abroad?
All of the microchips implanted at our surgery meet the international standards which ensures that scanners in all countries can read the number on the microchip.
Should you be moving abroad, we advise that you contact a local vet and find out how to register your pet’s microchip number on the main database in whichever country you have moved to. You should also let the microchip database in the UK know where you have moved to and how you can be contacted.
I’m worried about tiny young puppies having to be chipped
Lots of different types of animals are microchipped including ferrets, parrots, turtles, snakes, and elephants! We often microchip animals much smaller than dogs here, and there are microchips available on the market in a range of sizes suitable for your breed. If you still have any concerns about microchipping your dog (e.g. you feel it is too small) speak to us about your concerns. In some exceptional circumstances it may be possible to provide you with a government approved form highlighting that the dog should not be microchipped for reasons regarding the animal’s health and welfare. The decision to exempt your dog from being microchipped will be the veterinary surgeon’s decision and will be at their discretion.
I breed a tiny dog and am worried about the big needles.
There are mini microchips available. The offer the same standard and performance as the larger chips but need a smaller needle for implantation. Alternatively if a puppy is to be neutered at 8 weeks, the chip can be implanted whilst they are anaesthetised if you prefer.
Don’t microchips move as a puppy grows?
This can happen but it is very rare. We are very experienced at placing microchips so this is less likely to happen. We can also check positioning for you when they come in for their next check up or vaccination.
Don’t microchips sometimes fail?
This can happen but again it’s it is a very rare.
Is there a consultation fee to microchip my puppies?
No we don’t charge a consultation fee, but some vets might so if you’re intending to get your pet microchipped elsewhere then you should check this in advance.
What happens if I find something is wrong with the microchip?
Anyone who identifies an adverse reaction to a microchip or the failure of a microchip must report it. If you have any concerns at all, just pop in or make an appointment and we’ll check it for you.
I breed dogs. As the first keeper, am I liable for my puppies and dogs?
Yes, whilst the dog is still in your keepership. As soon as the dog is with a new keeper they become liable but in order to make sure you are complying with the law you must:
- Microchip the puppy by the time it is 8 weeks old and register with an approved microchip database (you must register your details as well as the dog’s)
- Once you sell the puppy you must ensure the microchip database contact details are up to date (with the new keeper’s information) this should be updated either by yourself or the new keeper
- For any dog that is registered to you (on the microchip database), you are likely to be held responsible if the dog has been found to have strayed, bitten or caused any unjust damage (there are some exceptions in instances where you were not in charge of the dog at the time of the incident). There is also protection from prosecution within the law if a dog injures a burglar or trespasser on their land.
My dog is really old now. Is there an age at which they become exempt from being microchipping?
There are no exemptions with regard to age. A dog will be legally exempt from being microchipped only when a vet certifies that it cannot be microchipped for health reasons. This needs to done on a form approved by the Secretary of State, so do come and talk to us if you think microchipping would not be appropriate for your dog.