Is your dog microchipped? If not, it’s time you made that appointment with your vet – not simply because it’s a good way to protect your pet, but also because by next spring it will be a legal requirement. According to figures from the British Veterinary Association (BVA), however, there are still a significant number of dogs who aren’t yet on the database – at least 25%.
So, what is microchipping, why is becoming compulsory, and what do you need to know?
Why is this necessary?
Microchipping your dog gives you peace of mind; if your dog goes missing or is stolen, the microchip can easily identify them so that they can be returned home. It may also help tackle problem puppy farms, as it may help to identify the breeders of dogs with genetic health problems and enforce a lifelong responsibility for the health of the puppies they sell.
It is also being touted as protection against irresponsible owners; if a dog is out of control and their owner’s not in sight, it can be difficult to identify who’s meant to be in charge. A microchip means that these irresponsible owners can be identified and prosecuted if necessary. However, it won’t make the dogs any better behaved – and some point out that it’s those irresponsible owners (the likes of which we never see coming for dog training in Sutton) who are most likely to ignore the law.
When does the law change?
From the 6th April 2016, all dogs aged eight weeks or over in England will need to be microchipped according to the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014.
How will it be enforced?
Local authorities, the police, community support officers and any other person authorised by the Secretary of State will be able to enforce the new regulations. The Kennel Club and Petlog will be supporting enforcers, donating a scanner to every local authority in England and Wales.
What is the penalty for not microchipping?
If a dog aged eight weeks or over is found not to be microchipped and registered on an approved database after the 6th April, their owner will be served a notice giving them 21 days to do so. Failure to comply will result in a £500 fine.
Does it hurt the dog?
The chip is approximately the size of a grain of rice, and is injected under the skin between the shoulders with a needle. It won’t be any more painful than any other kind of injection, and the dog won’t notice it at all once it’s done.
What happens if my information changes?
If you move or your contact details change, you should contact the registration company that holds your details straight away to get the details updated. If you’re not sure who to contact, ask your vet, and they’ll be able to help.
At CK9 Training, we highly recommend that you microchip your dog well in advance of this new law; other ways to ensure the safety of your pet include behavioural training, making sure that your pet is adept at recall so that they won’t stray away from you. For more information on how we can help you, contact us on 07739 815 265.