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Microchipping is a simple, safe and quick procedure - one that can make all the difference in being reunited with your pet should they stray or go missing.

The microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is implanted under the skin near the shoulders via a quick injection.

Once inserted, your pet cannot feel the microchip and the special capsule around it means that it does not break down and is designed to last your pet’s lifetime.This contains a unique registration number which is stored on a national database. The number stays with your pet for its life and can be read by special scanners which most veterinary surgeries, animal organisations and some police stations have. This is a little like having your shopping scanned in a supermarket.


This allows a positive identification to be made and for you to be contacted as soon as possible.


Microchips can be used in cats, dogs, ferrets, rabbits, even tortoises and larger birds.


Unlike collars and tags, microchips can't "slip off".


If your pet should go missing, microchipping is a great way to ensure that the best efforts are made to reunite you with your pet. However, it is only effective if you remember to keep your contact details up-to-date, which is a new requirement within the Compulsory Microchipping of Dogs legislation. Any changes to your contact details must be updated on the microchip database to ensure compliance with the law. If you move, or change your contact telephone number, etc. then your dog is no longer considered microchipped under the new law and enforcement can be taken.


  • Microchipping for dogs was made compulsory in England, Scotland and Wales in April 2016. In Northern Ireland it has been compulsory since January 2015

  • Microchipping for Cats is currently under review (2021) and soon to become compulsory in England, Scotland and Wales.


Quality microchips have an extremely low failure rate but we do advise having your pet scanned each year to check their chip is still working.

We also recommend that your dog wears an engraved identification tag. The Control of Dogs Order 1992 mandates that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on it, or engraved on a tag. Your telephone number is optional (but advisable).

You can be fined £5000 if your dog does not wear an identification tag.


  • Dogs used on official duties by the armed forces, HM Customs & Excise or the police

  • Dogs used for sporting purposes and packs of hounds

  • Dogs used for the capture or destruction of vermin

  • Dogs used for driving or tending cattle or sheep

  • Guide Dogs for the Blind

  • Dogs used for emergency rescue work


Other resources:

Microchipping round-up | International Cat Care (

Petlog | Welcome to the Petlog website

Dog Microchipping Questions & Answers | Dogs Trust

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