Microchipping

Microchipping is the best way of you being reunited with your pet should they become lost or stolen.

We recommend all pets are microchipped. A collar and tag can fall off or be removed, but a microchip is a more permanent way to identify your pet and keep them safe.

 

The law on microchipping dogs

On 6 April 2016 the UK law was changed so that all dogs over 8 weeks old must be microchipped. The law means that:

  • Any dog over 8 weeks old must be microchipped.
  • Owner details must be kept up-to-date and stored with an approved database company.
  • Your dog must still wear a collar and tag with your contact details on when in public.
  • If your dog is scanned and found not to have a microchip you’ll have 21 days to get them microchipped. If you don’t, you’ll face a fine of £500.

Microchipping other pets

There isn’t a law saying you have to microchip cats, rabbits or other pets but we recommend you do. Rabbits may need to be microchipped under general anaesthetic so think about having this done when you get them neutered so they don’t have to go through it twice.

It’s a great idea to have all your pets microchipped as it is the best way of you being reunited with them as quickly as possible should they become lost or stolen.


How microchipping works

A microchip is a tiny radio chip, about the size of a grain of rice, which is implanted under your pet’s skin between its shoulder blades. When this chip is scanned it shows their unique identification number. This identification number is logged on a national database, which can be matched against your contact details, so you can be reunited with your precious pet.


Will it hurt my pet when they are microchipped?

No it does not hurt your pet – it’s similar to any other injection like a vaccination. Microchips are made of non-reactive material so don’t cause your pet any problems throughout their life.

Where can I get my pet microchipped?

All vets offer microchipping or can direct you to the best place local to you that does. Microchips should only be implanted by veterinary professionals or suitably qualified people.

We offer microchipping to all dog owners as part of our PetCheck programme. It currently costs £10. Find out when PetCheck is in your area.

 

How much does it cost?

The cost of having your pet microchipped varies. There may be a charity or event running in your local area offering microchipping at a reduced cost or even free.

Are my personal details safe on the database and who can contact me?

You supply all the details to the database company when the microchip is implanted. These usually include your name, address, phone numbers and details of your pet. These are held securely and only passed onto registered premises such as vets, dog wardens and re-homing centres if your pet is lost so that you can be contacted.

 

What if I move house or change my phone number?

It’s important to keep your details up to date. If you move house or change your phone number you’ll need to contact the database company and let them know your new details.


You may have to pay to update your details.

Your pet’s microchip number and contact details for the database company will be on the original paperwork you were given when you had them microchipped. If you’ve lost this, take your pet into any vets and they can scan the chip and let you know your microchip number.

The contact phone numbers for the main UK database companies are:

  • Anibase: 01904 487600
  • PetIdentity: UK 01744 733229
  • PetLog: 0844 4633999
  • Pet Protect: 0800 0778558
  • Pettrac: 0800 6529977
  • Smarttrac: 0844 5420999


What should I do if I re-home or sell my pet?

You don’t need to replace or remove a microchip - it will last for your pet’s lifetime. To update ownership details, contact the database company to tell them you have re-homed your pet. Give the new owners the microchip number they can contact the database company and get their details registered.


What should I do if my pet is lost or stolen?

Phone the database company your pet’s microchip is registered with to let them know as soon as possible. They will flag your pet’s details so that if they are scanned by a vet or re-homing centre you’ll be contacted straight away.


Can a microchip break?

Microchips are tough and hardwearing, and should last for your pet's life. They can sometimes move a small distance away from where they are implanted. This won’t hurt your pet and is completely normal. The chip will still be picked up by a scanner, as all around the neck, head, shoulders and back are scanned. It’s really unlikely that the chip will break or become faulty. If you are worried, book an appointment with your vet and they can check the microchip for you.

In very rare cases, a microchip may fail. Usually, the chip manufacturer will provide a replacement chip free of charge and your vet can simply place a new chip.

Neutering your pet

What is neutering and is it something you've considered for your pet? Read out vets' advice and why and when to get your pet neutered. 

Find out more

Moving home

Moving house can be stressful time for the whole family, including our pets! Find out how you can help keep your pets calm and comfortable during the big move. 

Read our vets' tips

PetCheck

Our PetCheck vans are out and across the country, giving advice to pet owners and offering a microchipping service to dogs. 

Find an event near you