Microchipping is the best way to identify your pet and has been a legal requirement in all dogs since April 2016. It involves a simple injection of a small electronic chip which sits between your pet’s shoulder blades. When scanned with a special reader, your pet’s unique number can be read, and then compared against the database records. This allows your pet to be reunited with you if he has strayed or been stolen.
By law, all puppies should be microchipped before they are sold, or by 8 weeks of age, whichever is sooner. If your breeder has not done this, they should be reported to Trading Standards. Other animals do not legally have to be microchipped, but it is highly recommended. Just as important as getting your pet microchipped in the first place is keeping your details up to date with the database. If you are not sure which database your pet is registered with, the Check-a-chip website can help you.
It is still law, however, for your dog to also wear a collar with an identification tag at all times when in a public place. The tag should contain your name and address details. A telephone number is not required but is advisable.
Keeping your dog under control when out and about is important for the safety of your dog and those around. If you are not sure of your dog’s recall ability, they should be kept on a lead until your training has improved. This is particularly important around livestock as an uncontrolled dog can cause severe injuries to other animals, even if they do not physically attack them. Your dog is also at risk as farmers are allowed to shoot dogs which they think pose a risk to their livestock.