There are many reasons your dog or puppy could go missing. They may be afraid of another dog, loud fireworks, the rumble of thunder, or they may become disoriented or distracted by a new environment – for example, when taking a new walk or have just moved. If the worst happens and your dog is lost, a microchip can help ensure that it is returned to you safe and sound.
Of course, you should still make sure your dog is wearing a collar with an ID with your contact details on, but sometimes these can be lost or removed. A microchip for dogs or puppies always stays securely in place. If you’ve recently had a new puppy, you may be wondering what to expect from the puppy microchip. Read on to find out how much microchip is required in a dog and learn what microchip laws apply to dogs.
What is a microchip?
A dog or puppy microchip is a tiny computer chip the size of a grain of rice that contains a unique code that matches your puppy’s details. The actual microchip process is relatively quick and easy and can help you reunite with your four-legged friend when he or she wanders away from home. If your dog is found, a veterinarian or animal shelter can scan the embedded microchip to find your information from the microchip database. You will then be contacted to collect your pet.
How do microchips work?
When you make an appointment, your vet will walk you through the puppy microchip process. Once you’re ready to move on, they’ll put a tiny microchip – about the size of a large grain of rice – under your dog’s skin. The procedure only takes a few seconds and is relatively painless. The actual feeling should be similar to what we feel when we have our ears pierced. Once the dog microchip is attached, your dog won’t even know he’s there!
The functionality of microchips is based on the unique 15-digit code that is logged in a national database together with your data such as name, address and emergency number. It is your responsibility to ensure that your records are kept up to date if your details change or if you move the address. You should be aware that the first change is usually free. After that there is likely to be an administration fee, but it will depend on your provider.
What if your dog is found?
If one day your furry friend migrates and is lucky enough to be found by a friendly stranger, all they have to do is hand your dog over to a rescue home or veterinary office, where the guard or vet will use a scanning device to check if your dog is microchipped. The scan does not cause any additional stress for your dog and is completely painless.
With a quick scan they can find your unique 15-digit code as well as details of the microchip database your dog is registered with. You will go through some security checks and, if everything is OK, you will provide your contact details to the vet or guard.
How much does a dog cost a microchip?
The cost of puppy microchips varies depending on when they are done and who is doing them. However, on average it costs between £ 10-15 to be microchipped by a veterinarian or veterinarian nurse. If you are concerned about the cost of microchiping puppies, some charities such as Dogs trust, Blue cross and Battersea Dog & Cats Home, acknowledge that microchips for dogs may be over the budget of some dog owners. Therefore, offer free microchips. You may also find that your veterinary office occasionally runs promotions. So it’s worth doing your research.
The current law on dog microchips
As of April 2016, the current Dog Microchip Act provides that every dog owner in English and Scotland must microchip their dog or face a hefty fine of up to £ 500. Puppies must be microchipped by 8 weeks of age and before they are sold by the breeder. Additionally, you need to ensure that your dog’s information is kept up to date if you move or transfer ownership. If this data turns out to be out of date you may still face a fine as the law may not consider your dog to be microchipped.
There are currently some exemptions from the laws for dog microchips, e.g. B. if your vet has the feeling that microchips have a negative impact on health. If it’s an illness that is likely to get better, your vet will issue an exemption certificate with an expiration date and you’ll need to have your dog chopped off before it expires. If your dog has not shown any signs of improvement within this period, they may issue an additional certificate. The other exception is for working dogs that have had their tails docked. In these cases, the deadline for microchips is extended to 3 months.
These provisions are of course subject to change. So we encourage you to contact your veterinarian and check the government websites.
Would like to Learn more about your new pup? Read all about what to expect the puppy’s first visit to the vet.