Why Should I Get My Dog Microchipped?

Microchipping is a simple, speedy and completely safe procedure where a microchip the size of a grain of rice is inserted under a pet’s skin. The chip carries a number unique to your pet, which is registered with a database. It isn't just a good idea, but an essential part of pet ownership under Scottish law.

How Do Dog Microchips Work?

Your dog’s microchip carries a number unique to your pet, which is registered with a database. This holds details about your pet, as well as your own contact details, which is a godsend should your pet get lost and picked up as a stray. Studies have even been conducted to prove the effectiveness of microchips in successfully reuniting lost pets with their owners, something we see often at the Home.

In the grand scheme of things, microchipping is still a fairly new form of pet identification. Fortunately though, through ease of availability and changes in both attitude and legislation, it is one that has been widely adopted. PDSA’s 2018 PAW Report states that 91% of UK dogs are currently chipped, up from 70% in 2011. That does, however, still leave nearly one in 10 dogs without a microchip.

Italian greyhound pups

Legal Requirement

Microchipping your pets greatly increases your chances of being reunited with your beloved dog if it were to run away, get lost, or be stolen. Collars and tags serve a similar purpose, but can be removed. A microchip stays with the pet for life.

Additionally, for dogs, it’s the law. The Microchipping of Dogs (Scotland) Regulations 2016 made microchipping compulsory for all dogs over eight weeks old. Details held on the database must also be kept up to date – if your address or contact number changes, this information must be relayed to the database holder.

Failing to microchip your dog could lead to a fine of (up to) £500 and a court appearance.

How To Microchip Your Dog

At the Home, all animals up for adoption will be microchipped prior to rehoming, with details on the microchip updated to their new owners as part of the adoption process.

If you have become the owner of a dog or puppy that you are not sure if it is microchipped, it is a good idea to visit your own vet, who can scan for a chip. If there isn’t one, they may be able to provide this service in return for a small fee, or direct you to charity or council services that provide free microchipping.

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