Owning a dog is fun, whether you're spending time walking together in the local park or cuddled up together on the sofa watching tv. In all the excitement don't forget that since April 2016, microchipping your dog is now compulsory in the UK and is a safe way of ensuring your dog can be returned to you should they get lost.
Many seasoned dog owners can recount situations where their normally well-behaved companion has run off when out for a walk? Maybe he’s spotted a squirrel, next doors cat has sprung out and he’s decided to play a game of chase. While training plays a really important role in helping keep your dog safe and under control, it is equally important, and now a legal requirement, to have your dog microchipped.
A small electronic chip containing your contact information is implanted under the skin of your dog using a sterile needle, between the shoulder blades. Your dog should feel no more discomfort than when receiving their vaccinations.
The information is stored in a central database which can be scanned by the authorities so that your beloved pet can be returned home to your family. The database is a 24 hour service so that your pet is not away from you longer than necessary. It is your responsibility to make sure your information is kept up-to-date, such as if you move home. You can read more here: update your dog's chip.
Your vet will be able to tell you how you can go about getting your dog chipped, or alternatively you can visit www.chipmydog.org.uk and find out when and where free events are taking place near you.
If you are heading off on holiday and will be using your local dog kennels or dog hotel you will be asked to prove that your dog has been microchipped.
While it may seem like a lot of red tape for your pet if in the unfortunate event your dog gets lost then knowing that there is a way to be quickly reunited if he’s found by a stranger, provides peace of mind for us all.