Although no one likes to think of their dog getting lost or stolen, unfortunately it does happen, as each and every year some 250,000 pets go missing. Collar identification tags are a legal requirement for dogs but are not the best solution in themselves as they can fall off, break, or be removed. Microchipping is a permanent solution that greatly increases the chances that a lost dog will be reunited safely with their owner. If a dog is stolen and recovered by authorities, a microchip might also provide the only means to identify and contact the owner.
There is also a legal requirement to microchip your dog. From 6th April 2016 all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales must be microchipped and registered by the breeder on an authorised database by the time they are 8 weeks old, and before they transfer to a new keeper. The new keeper must then register the dog in their name and keep their details up to date.
In Northern Ireland, since April 2012, all dogs held under an individual dog license have to be microchipped.
Dogs who are likely to travel abroad on family holidays will also need a microchip as part of the required identification to receive a Pet Passport.