In our latest series of Ask the Vet, a concerned dog owner asks about microchipping.
Sarah McMillan, from Weedon Bec, wrote to the experts.
She said: “I have been told that by law I have to get my dogs’ microchipped, is this correct? I am sure that my 14-year-old labrador had this done as a puppy but my new puppy hasn’t so I would like to know how I go about getting it done.”
Kat Mozdzynski, resident veterinary nurse, said: “Under the new laws it will be compulsory for all dogs over the age of eight weeks to be fitted with microchips from April 6 in a move which the Government says will help reunite people with lost or stolen pets and track down the owners of vicious or illegal dogs.
“Once the new rules come into effect, if a dog without a microchip comes to the attention of the authorities, its keeper may be served with a notice requiring the dog to be microchipped, and may face criminal prosecution and a £500 fine if they do not comply with the notice.
“It is also important that if your dog is microchipped that you get this checked to ensure it is working and also that all your details are correct, as failure to update these could also result in the same prosecution.
“It is estimated that almost two million dogs are still to undergo the procedure and currently lost and stray dogs are costing the taxpayer and welfare charities £33 million per year.
“So often at Weedon Vets we struggle to reunite lost dogs (and cats) with their families and microchipping makes all the difference.
“The microchip, which is the size of a small grain of rice can be placed in a short nurse consultation.
“Once placed your dog will hold a unique code which will then be officially registered with a national microchip database.
“This means if your dog is scanned it can always be traced back to you.”
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