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Compulsory Microchipping


It is now mandatory throughout the United Kingdom for all dog owners to have their dogs microchipped and recorded with a government compliant microchip database such as Petlog.

Dog breeders, meanwhile, must ensure that puppies are microchipped and recorded by the time they are eight weeks old and before they are sold.

When a dog is transferred, the new owner’s (keeper’s) details must be added to the database. Moreover, if an owner moves home or changes telephone number, these details should be updated. Failure to keep these details up to date means that, in the eyes of the law, the dog is no longer considered microchipped and a fine can apply.

Key facts

Here’s some helpful guidance and advice on compulsory microchipping

Advice for breeders

If you are a breeder in the UK, you must ensure that all puppies are microchipped and recorded on a government compliant database by the time they are eight weeks old and before they go to the new owner. It’s essential that you, rather than the puppy buyer, are the first recorded keeper on the database.

Advice for buyers

Puppy buyers should not buy a dog from a breeder unless it has been microchipped and recorded on a database.

When buying a puppy, you will be provided with microchipping documents which will allow you to transfer keepership on the database (though your breeder may do this for you). If you do not receive microchipping documents then you should not buy the puppy.

Advice for owners of dogs without a microchip

All dog owners are responsible for ensuring their dogs are microchipped and recorded, regardless of whether they got the dog before the legislation on microchipping came into effect (2016).

If your dog has not been microchipped, you must have this done by an authorised implanter. Failure to do so will result in £500 fine if caught and prosecuted.

If your dog already has a microchip, it is your responsibility to ensure that the contact details that correspond with that chip are kept up to date.


If a dog without a microchip comes to the attention of the authorities, its keeper may be served with a notice requiring the dog to be microchipped, and may face criminal prosecution and a £500 fine if they do not comply with the notice. If this notice is ignored then a fine of up to £500 can be issued or an enforcer can seize the dog and microchip it at the keeper’s expense.

In addition, if the breeder or subsequent keepers of the dog do NOT update the dog’s details on a database that is compliant with the regulations, then a notice may be served requiring the keeper to microchip the dog within 21 days of the served notice.


The first exemption is where a veterinarian has certified the dog as a working dog and docked its tail in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2006. In such cases the time limit for the dog to be microchipped and details recorded with a database is extended to 3 months.

The second exemption is where a veterinarian certifies that a dog should not be microchipped because it could adversely affect its health. In such cases a vet would have to certify that this was the case and state when the exemption expired. The dog would then need to be microchipped on the expiry of that time limited certificate unless a veterinarian issued a further exemption certificate because of ongoing concerns with the dog’s health. In this case the decision to exempt a dog from being microchipped would be made by the veterinary surgeon. In such a case a breeder may pass the puppy on with a copy of the veterinary exemption certificate and any time limit for microchipping.

What is microchipping?

Microchipping is a simple, safe and quick procedure which makes reuniting dogs with their owners much more likely. A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and the procedure, which is carried out by a vet or trained microchip implanter, takes only a few minutes and lasts a lifetime.

Mini microchips are available for small breeds. There are mini microchips available (the same standard and performance of the existing chip) with a smaller needle for implantation.

Petlog Reunification Service

Petlog is the UK’s largest database for microchipped pets. Managed by the Kennel Club, it is fully compliant with government microchipping legislation and holds both ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certification. Over 9 million pet owners trust Petlog to help reunite them with their lost pets.

To give your dog the best chance of successful reunification, in the event that it is lost or stolen, make sure you upgrade to the Petlog Premium Reunification service for a one-off cost of £16. Microchipping is only effective if you keep your contact details up-to-date and Petlog Premium provides flexibility to amend your records as many times as you need. 

To upgrade your pet to Petlog Premium you will need to log in or create a Petlog Account. When you have logged in, click 'more' against your pet and select 'Upgrade to Petlog Premium'