Microchipping your dog has been mandatory in the UK since 2016. However, there seems to be a widespread knowledge gap regarding microchipping – as well as some pitfalls that are just now being addressed.
Until all loopholes are closed, what can you do to give your dog the best chance to return home should they become lost or be stolen? Pooch & Mutt’s in-house Veterinary surgeon Dr Linda Simon shares her advice…
Know where your pet’s data is stored
There are 17 pet databases in the UK alone that are registered by DEFRA, so that’s a lot of places to check if you aren’t sure – and even more confusing if you have a number of pets assigned to different databases! According to research conducted by Tailster, 35% of pet owners have no idea who their pet is registered with.
Finding out where your pet’s data is stored is a simple task. All you need to do is take your pet to the vets and have them scan their microchip – a process which should take minutes. Having knowledge of where your pet’s information is stored will make it easier and faster to update and amend their details in the future should you need to – keeping your pet’s info up to date is the law after all.
If you haven’t recently, check your chip!
Is your dog or cat prancing around with a useless chip? Your pet’s details are as important as any other identification records in your life – so learn how to check your pet’s microchip to be sure their information is up to date.
When your perfect pooch bounded onto the scene, you should have received a confirmation letter or email with their chip information and ID number.
If you’ve misplaced this, don’t worry – you can check your pet’s chip by taking them to the vet for a quick scan.
Once you have your pet’s ID number and the adjoining database information, keep a copy safe, as you’ll then be able to check your pet’s details whenever you like using an online chip checker.
When things change, keep your pet’s chip up to date
It’s the law to keep your pet’s details up to date, and it’s in your own interests – you don’t want your missing dog being returned to the wrong house! Despite this, 22% of pet owners who have moved home admit they didn’t update their pet’s records when they did so.
Moving house is full of overwhelming admin and documentation but remember – your pet is changing addresses too. Inform your pet database whenever you move home, your phone number changes or if your pet passes away; your pet’s records should reflect their current situation, just like for any precious member of your family.
Choose a pet database that puts pet safety before profit
Many pet database providers charge pet owners steep admin fees to make simple but crucial changes to their details – this shouldn’t be the case! I would recommend doing your research and choosing a DEFRA registered database that allows free updates of your pet’s important information.