Microchipping your pet is compulsory if you’re a dog owner but it’s also a good idea if you own a cat or rabbit too.
A simple procedure that helps owners track down lost pets, microchipping is actually much more simple and low cost than many people think.
Available at your local vets, and even through some pet stores and charities, microchipping should be at the top of your to-do list when welcoming a new animal into your home.
Here CashLady looks at three super easy ways to handle microchipping your pet.
Microchipping your pet
Why microchip your pet?
Microchipping your pet is important for several reasons. In the case of dogs, a law came into force in 2016 making it compulsory for dogs over eight weeks to be microchipped.
Reuniting lost pets with their owners
This law was created because of RSPC claims that thousands of pets were lost every year and never reunited with their owners because they weren’t microchipped.
While collars and name tags are easily removed, a microchip is inserted under the skin, which makes it more permanent.
Thousands of pets are lost every year and many are never reunited with their owners – microchipping can help to change that. – RSPCA
Information about your pet and your contact details are then stored on a register linking to your pets microchip number.
Cracking down on puppy farms
It was also hoped that microchipping dogs would help crack down on unscrupulous puppy farms to help authorities identify rogue breeders.
As part of the law, all dog breeders are responsible for ensuring that puppies are microchipped before selling them.
Puppies cannot be sold until they are eight-weeks-old and must be microchipped when being sold.
Breeders must also register their details on the database to be recorded against the microchip for the life of the dog.
According to the government website, a person is considered to be a ‘breeder’ if they are the owner of a dog which gives birth, whether or not they carry on a business as a breeder of dogs.
How does microchipping work?
A trained professional, such as a vet, must fit your pets’ microchip.
The microchip is inserted under the skin on the base of your animal’s neck. You then go online and register your details with the microchip number – so that whenever the microchip is scanned are easily be traced.
If you’re buying a rescue pet or an older animal, then it’s worth checking that the animal is microchipped.
Remember to update the details on your pet’s microchip register if you move home.
How much does it cost to microchip your pet
Microchipping your pet is low-cost, usually coming at between £10 – £20.
Well worth the piece of mind from knowing that you are more likely to find your beloved pet if it goes missing, in the cases of dogs you will also avoid a hefty fine.
If your dog isn’t microchipped and registered on an approved database, then you could be served with a notice ordering you to microchip your dog.
If you haven’t paid the fine within 21 days, then you could be liable to pay a fine of £500 and face criminal prosecution.
Failing to keep your contact details up to date on the register can also result in a notice and £500 fine.
Where can you get your pet microchipped?
#1 Microchipping at the vets
Getting your pet microchipped is super easy and there are plenty of options – with some of them free.
You can make an appointment with your vet to have your pet microchipped.
If you have a new dog or kitten, then you can usually do it at the same time they get their initial check-up and vaccinations.
Vets are very keen to microchip pets are likely to remind you about it at your first appointment.
#2 Get your pet microchipped through an animal charity
If you are on a budget or would rather not use your vet, then you can also ask the following to microchip your dog for free:
- Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
- Blue Cross centres
- Dogs Trust
Your local council may also have further information about where you can microchip your pet.
#3 Get microchipped at the pet store
Many larger pet stores, such as Pets at Home, also offer to microchip your pet for a fee.
Ultimately having your pet microchipped is a process that you do not only because it is a legal requirement (for dogs), but also because it protects your pet in many other ways from theft and from being lost. It should be at the top of your to-do list for any pet that becomes a member of your family.
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