One in ten dog owners are breaking the law by not microchipping their pet, reveals new research from Direct Line Pet insurance.
While more than a third of UK households (34 per cent) have a dog, 10 per cent (1.3 million) of these canines have not yet been microchipped. It has been a legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped since 2016. Failing to do so could result in a fine for owners of up to £500, with the research showing collective fines could reach a staggering £525 million, along with the risk of criminal prosecution.
The procedure itself costs around £20, carries no known health risks and is essential in reuniting owners with their missing dog given that nearly a third (29 per cent) admitted their pet has gone missing at least once from their home.
The microchip contains a code that is unique to the animal and is quickly inserted under the skin. If the dog becomes lost, this chip can be scanned and matched to the owner’s contact details, all of which are kept on a national database.
In the event that the owner moves house, changes their name or telephone number, these details must be updated on the database.
There are currently over 800 thousand dogs whose details have not been kept up to date. If an owners’ contact details are not updated, not only do they risk not being reunited with their dog should they become lost, but they are also liable for a fine of £500.
Madeline Pike, Veterinary Nurse for Direct Line Pet Insurance said, “Dogs are more than just pets to their owners, they’re family members that deserve the very best care and protection.
“With the staggering number of dogs still not microchipped, there is a real risk of thousands of loved pets going missing and potentially not being returned to their owners. Microchipping gives your pet the best chance of being identified and returned to you if they are lost or stolen.
“It’s important to keep your information up to date, such as if you move house or change vet, and updating your details is easily done by contacting the database which your dog is registered on. Our research is an important reminder that pet owners should stay informed about the latest safety, insurance, health, and protection measures for their dog.”