Indeed, from April 2016 all dogs in England will be required to be microchipped, by law! Yes, you’ve heard right folks. So if your dog is not microchipped already, hurry to your Vet and get it done.
It will be compulsory, so your dog’s details as well as yours can be kept on a Government approved database. Your Vet can do all of that for you. Should your dog already be microchipped, do make sure all his details on files are up to date (address, phone number, etc.).
The whole thing only takes a moment, costs anything between £10 and £30, and lasts for the entire dog’s life, however it must be done by a veterinary professional or by an implanter who has received government-approved training. Once done, you still have an on-going responsibility to keep the details up to date. Failure to do so could lead to a fine and other unpleasant letters and meetings; totally not worth it.
Ultimately, you shouldn’t just be doing it because it’s a legal requirement, you should be doing it because it means you and your dog can be reunited should the worse happen.
However, that’s not all, puppies must be microchipped and registered before they reach 8 weeks. Therefore, as new dog owners should never pick up a puppy before 8 weeks old, this means that breeders will potentially now be in charge of the microchipping. Puppy owners-to-be must ensure the breeder has microchipped and registered the dog with an approved microchip database before taking the dog home.
They should also seek proof that this has been done (don’t just take their word for it) or they (the owners) could find themselves in a whole lot of trouble with the law should the dog later be found to not be microchipped.
There are of course a few other things you can do to make sure you and your dog never get separated:
· Never leave you dog unattended outside a shop, or a school.
· Ensure your garden is safe, well fenced, and secured.
· Get to know your neighbours, your local dog warden and local dog owners; they will be the ones spotting your dog should he go missing.
· Have your vet and local dog warden’s details on your phone.
· Make sure your dog is wearing an ID tag, by law he or she should already be wearing one.
· Train good recall - which of course I can help you with.