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Microchipping – The laws and everything you need to know!

It goes without saying we all want our pets to be safe, yet one of the most overlooked things that could help massively should they ever get lost, is a microchip. It is a legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped, and very soon the laws will be the same for cats. If you are thinking of adding a furry companion to your family, or looking to microchip your pet, you can find out more about what it is and how it works here!

What is a microchip?

A microchip is a tiny chip that is inserted quickly and painlessly under your pet’s skin. The chip that is inserted has a unique code on it. This number on the chip is then linked to your details which are kept on a veterinary database. It is so important that you keep your microchip details up to date so that it can remain effective.

Why should I microchip my pet?

Should your pet sadly go missing, a microchip gives them the best chance of being reunited with you. It can also help reassure you that someone will notify you if they were to get into an accident. Unfortunately many pets who get into road accidents aren’t reunited with their owner as the veterinary professional is unable to locate who the pet belongs to.  

A microchip is painless for your pet, effective immediately and is permanent so will last their entire lifetime. Your details are also kept privately and securely.

It is very rare or a microchip not to work, but if you find that your pets microchip moves, or causes an adverse reaction, report it to your vet immediately.  

The laws around microchipping.

It is a legal requirement to microchip your dog if they are over eight weeks old, and to keep your details up to date. If you purchased your dog from a breeder then it is their responsibility to ensure the dog is microchipped before selling them to you, they are not allowed to sell the dog to you if they aren’t microchipped. This also applies to you if you decide to sell your dog onto someone else.

Whilst the law currently isn’t the same for cats, we recommend you get them microchipped at eight weeks of age too, so that there is a higher chance of finding them again should they go stray or get into an accident.  From Winter 2022, the laws for cats are changing, and just like dogs it too will be compulsory to microchip them.  

If you have any questions about microchipping your pet it is always best to speak to your local veterinary professional. A dog may only be exempt from a microchip if the vet believes they cannot be chipped for health reasons. If you are found to not have a microchipped pet, or your details aren’t kept up to date, then you may be liable to pay a fine of £500.

Microchipping on my Pet Health Plan.

If you have a Pet Health Plan already with one of our accredited practices, then microchipping is included free of charge on your plan. If at the time of taking out your Pet Health Plan your pet is already microchipped, then you will receive a product or service back at a similar cost to what the microchipping would have been. This can differ from practice to practice, but it tends to be around £10 off a product or service in store.

To find out more about our Pet Health Plans and to see if your practice is on our Accredited Practice Network, please visit our website,   If you have a Pet Health Plan with a Vetsure Accredited Practice and are also looking to get a quote for an Insurance policy, you can get discount off your insurance policy with Vetsure simply for linking prevention with cure. To make the most of this discount, please give one of our friendly team members a call on 0800 050 2022!