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Caring for your pet



Dog having its microchip scanned

It is a requirement under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 for all keepers of dogs to ensure their dog is microchipped by the age of 8 weeks old and registered with an appropriate UK database. Puppies must be microchipped and registered to the breeder before being sold.

A microchip is a small electronic chip that is implanted under the skin of a dog’s neck. Each microchip has its own unique 15-digit code that can be read by passing a scanner over the area where the chip has been implanted.

Currently it is not a legal requirement to microchip your cat but from 10 June 2024 all pet cats must be microchipped. More information about microchipping your cat can be found on Microchipping your cat - Cats Protection website.

Who can microchip a dog?

  • A vet or vet nurse under direction of a vet
  • A student vet or vet nurse under direction of a qualified vet
  • A person who has been satisfactorily assessed on a training course approved by the Secretary of State for that purpose; or
  • A person before the day on which these Regulations come into force, received training on implantation which included practical experience of implanting a microchip.

What information is stored on the microchipping database?

The details that must be recorded on the a database are:

  • the full name and address of the keeper;
  • if the keeper is also the breeder and their relevant licence number and local authority name that issued the licence
  • the original name or identification number given to the dog;
  • the contact telephone number (if any) for the keeper;
  • the name given to the dog by the keeper, if that is different to the details originally recorded
  • the sex of the dog;
  • the breed of the dog, or a description if it is a cross-breed;
  • the colour of the dog;
  • the most accurate estimate of the dog’s date of birth which the keeper is capable of giving;
  • and
  • the unique number of the microchip implanted in the dog.

Where can I get my dog microchipped and is there a fee?

Dogs can be chipped at your local veterinary surgery for a small fee. Some animal charities may be able to microchip your dog for free. Visit Get your dog microchipped - GOV.UK for more details.


It is recommended by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) to have cats and dogs neutered to prevent unwanted litters and continuation of any genetic defects.

Any individual wishing to have their cat or dog neutered should contact their local veterinary surgery in the first instance to discuss the options for the specific animal.

Duty of care

Any individual that owns or keeps an animal has a duty of care to ensure the animal’s needs are met under Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. An animal’s needs include:

  • The need for a suitable environment
  • The need for a suitable diet
  • The need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • The need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals
  • The need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

Five animal welfare needs: food and water, environment, company, natural behaviour, protection from harm. © RSPCA