Puppy Microchipping, what used to be seen as a voluntary thing that you probably ‘should do’ is now, in the UK at least, actually law!  It’s also mandatory in other parts of the world, such as New Zealand, Australia and many countries in Europe. 

If you wish to travel with your dog under the Pet Travel Scheme you will also need to microchip them, in order to get them a ‘Pet Passport’ – a jet set lifestyle awaits!

There are huge benefits to getting your puppy microchipped; learn everything you need to know about puppy microchipping in this article. 

male owner holding up puppy
Photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash

How is a puppy microchipped?

Puppy microchipping is a simple procedure in which a very small (about the size of a grain of rice) microchip is injected just under your puppy’s skin, generally at the back of their neck. Although the needle used is larger than a vaccine needle, the operation is quick and painless for your puppy. It’s all over and done with in a flash!

The microchip carries a unique identifying number which is then held on a central database containing your dog’s name, address and your contact information. Clever stuff! 

Why should I microchip my puppy?

If you live in the United Kingdom, puppy microchipping is required by law! Since 2016, all puppies must be microchipped and registered to the breeder by the time they are 8 weeks old and before they are sold. 

But even if you live somewhere which microchipping is not mandatory, getting your puppy microchipped still has great benefits such as

  • If your puppy is lost your details can be looked up just by scanning the microchip
  • If your dog is stolen (heaven forbid!) then they can be returned to you, much easier.
  • You will need your dog microchipped to travel with them in the Pet Travel Scheme

It’s worth noting that microchips are not tracking devices; they simply contain a unique number which can be looked up on a database full of contact information. With dog and puppy theft on the rise all over the world, microchipping is providing a vital deterrent to thieves. Whilst dogs should also wear a tag with a name and contact information on these are easily lost, or can be removed whereas a microchip is with them for life.

How much is it to microchip a dog? 

Microchipping a puppy is a relatively inexpensive procedure.Costs range between £15 and £50, dependent on location and your own particular vet practice. In the USA you can expect to pay $30 to $60. 

Of course if you live somewhere where puppy microchipping is the responsibility of the breeder, then the cost is generally included in the price of the puppy. Lucky you.

happy white puppy running in field
Photo by Joe Caione on Unsplash

Will microchipping hurt my dog?

No, not so much. Most puppies barely feel it; it is only in the very small tea-cup breed puppies that vets may request that they wait until they are a little bigger. Because the needle used for puppy microchipping is rather large, your puppy may yelp a little, but the process is quick and there should be no side effects. Your puppy will be back to his or her normal zoomie self in no time! Lovely.

How can I check if my puppy’s microchip is up to date?

Checking if your contact information is up to date is simple – you’ll have been given the contact information of the microchip registry who maintains the data when you had your puppy microchipped, so give them a call and see if they’re still current.

In the UK your breeder will provide details including the database that your puppy is registered to, and an ID or reference number as well as the microchip number. You can then check your puppy’s details online and update them should you move house or need to change contact information.

Most veterinarians, as well as many dog groomers and pet stores, have Microchip scanners, so you can ask that they scan your dog for a chip as well. You can also speak with your local animal control or Dog Warden to see if they have the scanner.

Don’t be concerned if the Microchip has migrated; they can migrate and travel about under the dog’s skin. It’s not a big deal as long as it still works and isn’t causing any problems for your dog.

How can I change my dog’s microchip details? 

If you need to amend your contact details, for example, if you move or change to a new phone number, don’t forget to update your information with the microchip registry! Many, many dogs who end up in rescue had loving owners who failed to update their microchip information and now can’t be located! Can you imagine the heartache? Sad times.

If you decide to rehome your dog, whether privately or through a rescue organisation or shelter, you must ensure that the microchip database information is updated with the details of your dog’s new owners or the shelter where they are being cared for. You can do this online with your registration information or by calling the database team where your dog is registered. There may be a fee for making these changes, but you could be fined if you neglect to update the new owner’s information.

small puppy looking at older dog
Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading all about puppy microchipping, why not check out our article on when your puppy can go out safely.

If you are struggling with puppy biting, chewing and teething, why not sink your teeth into the Zigzag puppy training app? You’ll get access to our team of Puppy Experts. They’re wonderful and are full of advice and support to help you through this tricky phase,and help with any other issues you might be having with your pup’s behaviour and training. Don’t be afraid to sink your teeth into it.