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Microchipping of dogs

Date updated: 1/12/2022

Under The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015, it is compulsory for all keepers to ensure their dogs are microchipped and registered with an approved UK database:

Breeders must ensure their puppies are microchipped by the age of eight weeks and before they leave for their new home.

How a microchip works

A microchip is a radio frequency identification transponder covered in bio glass and is no larger than a grain of rice. When a compatible scanner is passed over the implanted microchip a unique ID code is displayed. A microchip does not contain a GPS signal therefore a lost or stolen dog cannot be tracked by GPS.

The microchip must conform to ISO standards 11784 and 11785. ISO standard microchips work at a frequency of 134.2Khz and when scanned provides a unique 15 digit code.

Implanting the microchip and fees

The following people are allowed to microchip a dog:

  • A vet or veterinary nurse working under the direction of a vet
  • A student veterinary surgeon or student veterinary nurse working under the direction of a vet
  • A person who has been on a training course approved by the Secretary of State
  • A person who has received training on implantation which included practical experience of implanting a microchip, before the new legislation came into force in April 2016

There is usually a small fee to implant the microchip and add your details to a database. Some databases will also charge an admin fee each time you update your details. Speak to your database operator for more information.

Does it hurt my dog?

No, it should be no more uncomfortable than a standard vaccination injection.

Purpose of a microchip database and type of information stored

Microchip databases allow local authorities and charities to efficiently trace the registered keeper. It is estimated that lost and stray dogs cost local authorities and charities more than £32 million pounds every year. 

The following information is usually stored:

  • The breeder's licence number and the name of the local authority by which they are licensed (if required)
  • The dog's original name given to it by the breeder
  • Description of the dog (breed, sex, date of birth, colours/markings)
  • The keeper's contact details (full name, address, contact numbers)
  • The dog's name given to it by the keeper if different to that already recorded 
  • The unique microchip number

What happens if I don't microchip my dog?

The keeper can be fined up to £500. If a dog isn't microchipped then the local authority will serve a notice on the dog's keeper requiring that they get the dog microchipped within 21 days. If the keeper fails to comply with the notice then they can be prosecuted and fined. The local authority can then seize the dog, implant a microchip and recover the cost from the keeper.

Watch the Dogs Trust Microchipping interview