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Dog microchipping: Everything you need to know

by | Nov 10, 2023

In an age where technology plays an integral role in our lives, it’s no surprise that even our beloved dogs are not exempt from its influence. 

It’s incredible the impact a small microchip can have on the wellbeing and safety of our dogs. This tiny device provides peace of mind and a reliable means of identifying a puppy/dog should they ever become lost.

In this blog, we’ll explore dog microchipping laws, logistics and look at the process to qualify to administer microchips to your own litters of puppies.   

Dog Microchipping Law UK

In the UK, the law of pet microchipping performs a vital role in the safeguarding of animals – ensuring responsible dog ownership from the very start of our pets lives.

The UK introduced the mandatory pet microchipping law on April 6, 2016, making it a legal requirement for all dogs over the age of eight weeks to be microchipped. 

While this law initially focused on dogs, its principles are now expanding to encompass other animals, such as cats. It’s now also compulsory for all cats throughout England (only, currently) to be microchipped by June 2024. 

Failure to comply with these laws could result in a £500 fine. 

For more information on adhering to UK laws that affect dog breeders, take a look at our dog breeder paperwork bundle. It contains everything you need to keep your paperwork in order to ensure you have all your ducks in a row. 

The Purpose of Microchipping

1. Identification and Reunification: The primary purpose of microchipping is to provide a reliable and permanent method of identifying animals. Each microchip contains a unique identification number that must be registered to the keeper’s contact information in a DEFRA compliant database like Animal Tracker. This ensures that lost or stolen pets can be quickly reunited with their families.

2. Responsible Ownership: The law aims to promote responsible pet ownership. By mandating microchipping, keepers and owners are held accountable for their pets safety and wellbeing, promoting better care, reduced abandonment rates, and improved animal welfare.

3. Crime Deterrence: Microchips also serve as a valuable deterrent against pet theft and illegal breeding operations. The ability to trace an animal’s history and keepership through its microchip can help authorities identify and prosecute those involved in illegal activities.

dog being scanned for microchip

Benefits of Dog Microchipping

Lost and Stolen Pet Recovery: Microchipping significantly increases the chances of reuniting with a lost or stolen pet. Unlike collars and tags, which can be removed or damaged, microchips provide a secure and permanent form of identification.

Reduced Stray/Rescue Populations: Microchipping makes it easier to identify owners of abandoned or lost animals, which can reduce the number of dogs in kennels and rescue centres unclaimed.

Crime Prevention: The law acts as a deterrent to pet theft and illegal breeding practices. Criminals are less likely to steal or breed animals if they know that their activities can be easily traced through microchips.

Health and Safety: Microchips are tiny, biocompatible devices that do not pose health risks to pets. They can’t be lost or forgotten, ensuring that a pet’s identification is always readily available.

How to get your litter of puppies microchipped

Ensuring you not only adhere to the law but do all you can to protect your litter’s safety is crucial.  

So how do you get your litters microchipped? 

Step 1: Find a Qualified Implanter

To get your puppies microchipped, you’ll need to find a qualified implanter. In most countries, the responsibility of microchipping pets is entrusted to licensed trained implanter professionals and veterinarians. These individuals have the necessary knowledge and expertise to perform the procedure safely. 

Step 2: Make an Appointment 

Once you’ve identified a qualified implanter, contact them to schedule an appointment. It’s important to choose a reputable and trusted professional to ensure your puppies’ safety and the accuracy of the microchip placement.

Step 3: The Microchipping Procedure 

During the appointment, the qualified implanter will perform the microchipping procedure. Here’s what to expect:

Identification: Your puppy will be identified, and the implantation site will be carefully chosen, typically between the shoulder blades.

Sterilisation: The implanter will sterilise the area to reduce the risk of infection.

Microchip Placement: Using a specialised syringe, the implanter will inject a tiny microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, just beneath each puppy’s skin. This process is quick and relatively painless, like a routine vaccination.

Confirmation: After implantation, the implanter will confirm that the microchip is in place and functioning correctly using a scanner.

Step 4: Register the microchip 

The breeder, by law, must be the first registered keeper. Register the microchip with your contact information initially – you can transfer keepership once your puppies have been sold and left for their new homes. 

Record the microchip number and keep accurate records of which puppy corresponds to each microchip.

You can access our breeder paperwork bundle here for an easy way to keep all your records in order to meet licensing and legal requirements.

Step 6: Ensure contact information is up to date. 

A chip needs to be kept up to date for it to do its job. Ensure you (and any future owners) remember to update contact information with the microchipping database so you can be reunited as quickly as possible if the dog goes missing. 

lost dog poster being pinned to a tree

Do breeders have to microchip puppies in the UK?

In England, Scotland and Wales all puppies should be microchipped by 8 weeks of age, and they should still be with their breeder at this time. Unless a vet declares that a puppy shouldn’t be chipped for health reasons, this legislation applies across the board. 

Educating new puppy owners

It’s vital to educate new puppy owners on the importance of microchipping and the need to keep their contact information up to date. This information is critical for reunification purposes. 

By helping your new owners understand this critical information, you will help ensure their puppies have a higher chance of being reunited if they ever get lost or stolen. 

Responsible microchipping is an important part of ethical breeding practices.

Can breeders microchip puppies themselves?

Anyone can train to become a microchip implanter and you don’t need any existing qualifications. 

Whether you are a breeder wanting to microchip your own litters, or work elsewhere in the pet industry, offering microchip implanting can be a great value asset to add to your business.

Where can I take a microchipping course?

All microchip training must be undertaken with an approved supplier such as Peddymark

PeddyMark is the microchip supplier for the Animal Tracker database. They’re  approved by Defra, The Secretary of State, The Scottish Secretary of State and The Welsh Assembly to train in England, Scotland and Wales respectively.

PeddyMark offers approved training courses that can be organised for groups or individuals at very competitive prices. 

How does microchipping training work? 

PeddyMark’s qualified trainers will travel to you to undertake the training in person. Before your practical training, you start with some theory work which takes approximately 2 -3 hours. Your in-person training takes approximately 4 hours and is delivered one-to-one.

PeddyMark says this format, rather than a classroom environment, tends to produce more confident and skilled implanters. It allows you to work at your own pace and ask more questions of your trainer, so you’re fully confident you understand every aspect of microchipping.

two people implanting a dog microchip together

How much does microchipping training cost? 

PeddyMark’s training prices are extremely competitive. The prices vary depending on your location and needs. You can request a quote here. 

PeddyMark don’t profit from microchip training as they believe the more qualified microchip implanters there are, the fewer animals that will be lost or stolen. 

What’s needed to train as a microchip implanter?

To train with PeddyMark, you’ll need to have access to at least 3 non-microchipped animals to chip as part of your training and be able to handle these animals competently. If you wish to be able to microchip dogs in the future, one of these three animals must be a dog.

PeddyMark will provide you with 3 microchips for your training, but you’ll also need to  purchase some equipment from PeddyMark – this is not included in the training quote they provide. 

PeddyMark recommends their starter packs, so you have everything you need to get started.

Before purchasing microchips, you will need to decide which size is best for your requirements and which database you wish to register with. 

PeddyMark is one of the few companies who operate their own database – Animal Tracker. You can visit the Animal Tracker website here.

What’s covered in a microchipping course?

PeddyMark’s microchip implanter course delivers comprehensive training on the following: 

  • The practical procedure and theory of microchipping
  • Understanding Health and Safety related issues
  • Understanding the registration process for microchipped animals on Animal Tracker and how this positively affects swift reunification of any pet with its keeper

As part of the course, you will receive:

  • Training manual and referral notes
  • A qualified trainer who will remain your point of contact should you need any support following the training
  • Certificate awarded upon completion
  • Implanter Code upon completion

Find out more about PeddyMarks microchipping course today. 

Microchipping Supplies

PeddyMark is the biggest UK microchip supplier. PeddyMark established itself as a leading provider of microchipping and registration services, through its microchip database, Animal Tracker. 

PeddyMark’s premium quality, fully guaranteed, sterile microchips are recommended for Vets, Charities, Trained Implanters and Trained Breeders. 

Their microchips are available in three sizes to best suit your needs. This includes their unique ‘Mid-Size’ (1.4x10mm) which allows you to microchip most domestic mammals with one product, suitable for use in everything from a Guinea Pig to a Great Dane.

With a commitment to animal welfare and responsible pet keepership, PeddyMark plays a crucial role in ensuring the well-being of our pet population across the world.

Promoting responsible pet ownership

Implanters play a crucial role in the implementation of the microchipping law. They are responsible for the implant procedure, ensuring it is done correctly and that the microchip’s unique identification number is handed over to the breeder. 

The UK law of pet microchipping is a significant step forward in ensuring the safety, well-being, and responsible keepership of pets. By mandating the microchipping of dogs, cats, and other animals, the UK government has taken a proactive stance in promoting animal welfare and reducing pet-related crimes. 

This law not only helps reunite lost pets with their keepers but also encourages responsible keepership and ownership practices, ultimately benefiting both pets and their human companions. It’s a small chip with a big impact, ensuring that our beloved dogs make it home as quickly as possible. 

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Rebecca Walters

I’m Rebecca Walters, founder of Pupstarts Breeders. I’m a 5-star licensed dog breeder, an ex-licensing officer, and a woman committed to changing the industry for good.

I want to deliver all the dog breeding information, advice and education you need to be an ethical and reputable dog breeder who makes a difference in the world.

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