Today is National Puppy Day, but authorities across England are warning dog owners they may be at risk of a £500 fine.
Since April 2016, the law states you must make sure your dog is fitted with a microchip by the time it’s eight weeks old.
You can be fined up to £500 if your dog isn’t microchipped.
The rules are different if you’re in Scotland or Wales.
Who can microchip your dog
Your dog’s microchip must be fitted by a trained professional, for example a vet.
You can ask the following to microchip your dog for free:
* Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
* Blue Cross centres
* Dogs Trust
You can also ask your vet or local council if they can microchip your dog. They might charge a fee.
What happens when your dog’s microchipped
Your dog’s microchip is given a number, which will show up whenever your dog is scanned.
The professional who microchips your dog will also take your contact details.
These details are kept alongside the microchip number on a database, so that your dog can be returned to you if it’s lost or stolen.
You must make sure that your dog is registered on one of the following databases (they all meet government standards):
* Animal Tracker
* MicroChip Central
* National Veterinary Data Service
* Pet Identity UK
* UK PETtrac
You can be fined up to £500 if your dog is registered on a database that isn’t on the list.
Your dog must still wear a collar and tag with your name and address when in a public place.
Updating your details
You’re responsible for keeping your dog’s microchip information up to date, for example if you move house.
Contact the database company your dog is registered with to update any of your details.
You might be charged for updating your dog’s microchip information.
Find out where your dog’s registered
You can check the microchip number if you don’t know which database your dog is registered on.
If you don’t have the microchip number, you can ask any of the following to scan your dog for it:
* a vet
* a dog warden
* a dog rescue centre
Buying a dog
You should ask for proof a microchip has been fitted before buying a dog.
You can ask to see any of the following as proof:
* microchip certificate
* vet records
* pet passport
You may also be able to see microchip information in the dog’s pet insurance papers.
You must make sure the microchip details are updated once you have bought the dog.