Do you have a dog or many dogs like us? If you do and they are not microchipped, this time next month, you will be breaking the law.
From the 6th April 2016 it will become a legal requirement for all dogs in England, Wales and Scotland to be microchipped with the keeper’s details registered on an authorised database (this requirement has been in force in Northern Ireland since 2012).
For older dogs, you simply need to make an appointment with your vet who will carry out the procedure. The electronic chip is the size of a rice grain and is implanted under the dog’s skin, containing a unique number that can be scanned. When we have had microchipping carried out, the vets said the process would feel similar to having your ear pierced. The dogs we have had done never even flinched.
Microchipping needs to be seen as essential to good pet owners as pet insurance. Likewise, if you buy a puppy, asking whether the pup is microchipped should be one of the first questions you ask on the phone before you visit along with whether the parents can be seen.
When we bought Tutsy and Mabel a few weeks ago, the man we got them off had already had them microchipped. The process for changing the details was simple. We had to provide the puppy’s name (easier said than done) to the breeder and he sent that off with our address to the microchip register.
A few days later, we received confirmation through the post and barcode stickers to keep and to give one copy to our vet.
Even though we have changed the puppy’s names, for microchipping purposes, the address is the important thing and the contact details.
We had a dog stolen not so long ago. Thankfully we managed to find him but we were so grateful he was microchipped as if he was ever taken to the vets, he would have been scanned and reunited with us.
Our local pet shop even has a microchip scanner to aid the reuniting of lost pets and their families.
Our dogs are part of our family. All six of them and, to think we may never see one of them again through theft or if they ran away, we would all be heartbroken.
Microchipping ensures this should never happen.
The other great thing about compulsory microchipping is it should eradicate back street breeders. People who relentlessly allow dogs to have puppies and, who are only in the business for the money-not the welfare of the animals will not be too pleased with a large cut of their ‘profit’ being eaten up with microchipping.
Therefore, if you go looking at puppies who haven’t been chipped, I would personally use this as an indication that all is not well and not buy that puppy.
We are a nation of pet lovers. Imagine how you would feel if your beloved pooch got lost without having been microchipped?
It doesn’t bare thinking about. Neither does a £500 fine if you are caught with an unmicrochipped dog.
*This post is a collaboration with Petplan, but all thoughts and beautiful dogs are my own.