Make the right choice when chipping your dog – some services aren’t all they seem
Posted on: 9 April 2019
Microchipping your dog is a legal requirement, but dog owners also need to choose their microchip providers carefully, or they could be putting their dogs at risk.
When your dog is microchipped it is given a number, which shows 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 of stolen.
There are many microchip databases to choose from but only a handful meet government standards. Other databases, which don’t meet these standards, can use tempting offers of cheap registration fees to lead dog owners away from the government approved microchip providers. What dog owners don’t realise is that North Devon Council’s dog wardens can’t always access these databases when they pick up a lost dog, which means they are less likely to be reunited with their dog.
The government approved databases are:
- Animal Microchips
- 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 is not on the list.
Two local dog owners recently discovered they had used a database that wasn’t on the approved list. Julie from Barnstaple said: “Unfortunately, my staffie dog escaped from the house and wandered along a main road before the dog warden from the council thankfully found him and returned him to us. We were advised to update the microchip online. Rather than updating the database he was already on, we followed an ad and clicked onto a different provider and paid a fee. We have since discovered this is not a registered website but they still took our money. Make sure you check it’s a legal site as we have had to pay again.”
Sara from Barnstaple says: “Our pug ran away from us one morning and we reported it immediately. Thankfully he was found a short time later safe and sound. However, we now know that we had registered him on a bogus site that isn’t part of the national database that can help return stray dogs to their owners.”
North Devon Council Dog Warden, Alan Kyle, says: “These two recently recorded cases show how responsible dog owners who thought they were doing the right thing, had actually registered their microchip details with a provider that isn’t recognised by the Kennel Club or DEFRA for the purpose of recording chip details. Owners recording their chip details on these sites run the risk of losing their pets as a consequence of the keeper not being found and a possible £500 fine. Please can all dog owners check who they registered with to make sure they have followed the law correctly.”
You can check and update your dog’s details on the database you are registered with by entering their chip number into the database on your provider’s website. If you haven’t kept a record of the number, you can ask your vet to scan your dog’s chip. If you can’t remember who your chip provider is, you can check it online at www.gov.uk/get-your-dog-microchipped.Posted in: