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Welcome to our

Spring newsletter


A legal requirement

for dogs!

Dogs’ owners who do not comply

with the new regulations can be

fined up to £500...

Until now, microchipping has been advisable although

not an essential part of dog (and other pet) ownership; a

cheap and easy means of ensuring that should your dog

go missing, you could be quickly reunited.

However changes to the law which came into effect on

6 April 2016

now mean that microchipping dogs is a legal requirement. The aim

is to reduce the burden of stray dogs on local councils and animal

charities, currently estimated at around £33m per year. Compulsory

microchipping will also make the theft of dogs more problematic as

identifying them will be easier.

Under the terms of the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations

2015 all dogs over the age of eight weeks, which are not certified

working dogs, will have to be microchipped. In many cases this means

that breeders will need to ensure that it is done before pups go to

their new homes. Only in exceptional circumstances will vets be able

to certify that a dog is medically unfit to be chipped. Owners of dogs

who do not comply with the new regulations can be fined up

to £500.

Microchipping involves the implantation of a small identity chip,

about the size of a grain of rice, under the skin between a dog’s

shoulder blades. This is done using a sterile needle and does not

require an anaesthetic. Identity chips are coated in a bio-compatible

glass which is the same as used for human pacemakers, so they

should not cause any reaction.

What happens if my dog goes missing?

All establishments where stray dogs are routinely taken, including

the local council, police and veterinary practices, have access to

electronic scanners which read the identity chip’s unique fifteen digit

number. They then contact the relevant database to match the chip

number with the owner’s contact details, and quickly get in touch to

let the owner know that the dog has been found. This can be done

within minutes but it is therefore essential that once your dog is

chipped, you keep your contact details up to date by informing the

database of any changes.

What about cats?

Cats are not covered by the new legislation which means that the

decision to have them microchipped is still very much one of owners’

choice. However as they have such a tendency to roam (and to lose

collars!) it is certainly something we at Willows feel remains very


What if I can’t remember whether my dog is microchipped

or not?

It is very easy to check for a microchip using a scanner so if you are

not sure please let us


can arrange for a member of staff to

scan your dog and check for a working


always check for an

existing chip before implanting a new one.

How do I arrange microchipping?

Implanting a microchip is a procedure that can be done in a routine

consultation so please contact reception to book a slot.