Should I Microchip My Dog?

by Chelsea Dogs

It’s a much talked about topic, Should I Microchip My Dog? The short answer to this question is YES. Each year more than 100,000 dogs are dumped or lost at a cost of £57 million to the taxpayer and welfare charities. All dogs in England will need to be microchipped to help tackle the growing problem of strays roaming the streets.

Microchipping will be compulsory for ALL dogs in England from 6th April 2016.


For now though, here is some more information about microchipping and the benefits it brings.

Benefits of Microchipping

  • The most important reason for microchipping is to enable a lost or straying dog to be returned to its owner as quickly as possible.
  • Identifying owners who persistently allow their dog to stray or cause nuisance
  • Puppy farming is still a major animal welfare problem. Compulsory microchipping allows puppy farms to be more easily identified and dealt with.
  • Improve dog health by reporting hereditary health problems and measuring progress of inherited diseases within some breeds of pedigree dogs.
  • When an animal has been the victim of cruelty, a microchip assists in identifying the owner and bringing them to justice. Similarly, when a dog is used for threat and intimidation, microchipping assists with holding the dog’s owner to account.
  • Detecting a microchip allows vets to swiftly contact owners if a pet has been admitted as an emergency.

What is a microchip?

At the size of a grain of rice, a microchip (technically called a Radio Frequency Identification Device or RFID) is a small electronic device which is coded with a unique number that can be read by a scanner that connects with the microchip using a radio signal.

pet microchip size

How is the microchip implanted?

In the UK, microchips are implanted under the skin between your dogs shoulder blades. Microchipping is only carried out by a suitably trained person including your vet. No anaesthetic is required, microchipping normally takes less than a minute. Once implanted, it is highly unlikely that the microchip will fail therefore providing life-long identification.

Does microchipping hurt my dog?

Similar to a minor injection, microchipping feels like a small scratch or pinch and your dog will not feel the chip at all after it has been inserted.

Does the microchip move around?

No, once inserted, the body tissue around the microchip attaches itself, preventing any movement.

Dog Microchip Scanner

What do I need to do once my dog has been chipped?

You will need to register your dog’s microchip number along with your details on a computerised database. Your vet will do this for you at the time of microchipping but if any of your information changes, such as a change of address, you will need to update this. Many animal welfare charities keep their own records of the dogs they chip, for example, The Dogs Trust.

Who can access the database?

Local authority staff (usually dog wardens), veterinary practices and animal welfare charities can access the secure database to update and add information.

Where can I get my dog microchipped?

Almost all veterinary practices in the UK can microchip your dog, along with a growing number of Local Authorities and animal welfare groups.

How much does microchipping cost?

Microchipping your dog at your local vet will cost around £20-£30.

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