Dog Identification in the UK

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that “any dog in a public place should wear the name and address of the owner either inscribed on the collar or a name place or disc attached to it” and soon it will be compulsory to microchip your dog, so what does this all mean?

The information required includes the owner’s name and full address including the door number and full postcode. A phone number should also be on the dogs tag and it is recommended that you express that the dog is microchipped, guidance on what to include can be found here.


What is it?

A microchip is a small electronic chip, which is implanted under your dog’s skin between the shoulder blades using a special implanting device. The chip must be implanted by a veterinary professional or an implanter who has received government approved training.

How does it work?

Each microchip has a unique code which can be read by a scanner. It is important that the chip is registered correctly with an approved microchip database.

What is the purpose of the microchip?

The owner’s contact details are logged against the microchip number on a central database. If the dog was ever found to not be with its owner then it can be scanned by the local authority, vet practice or animal welfare organisation in order to find the owner’s details, contact them and reunite them with their dog quickly and safely. It is the duty of the owner to update their details with the database should their details ever change, for example you move house or the dog changes ownership. A small administration fee will be charged each time a change is made.

Is it a legal requirement? 

It will be compulsory for all dogs to be microchipped from 6th April 2016 (The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014). Owners who do not comply could face fines of up to £500.00.

From 6th April 2016 all puppies must be microchipped and registered before they are 8 weeks old, proof should be sought from the breeder that the chip has been administered and registered correctly.

Where can I get my dog microchipped?

Petlog, who are the largest database have details on their website for finding a local microchip implanter.

The Dogs Trust are also running a free microchipping service throughout 2015, more details can be found here.

How much does it cost?

Costs will vary depending on who is implanting the device but average cost should be between £10 and £30.

Further information can be found via the Kennel Club here.

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