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Responsible dog ownership

Collars and tag

If you own a dog, you must make sure that your contact details are clearly visible on your dog’s collar. Not having a collar and tag on your dog while out in the public is illegal, even if your dog is microchipped. The maximum fine is £5,000.

Microchipping

All dog owners are required to have their dogs microchipped. All puppies over 8 weeks old must also be chipped.

Microchipping permanently identifies a dog. A microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, is implanted under the skin of a dog by injection. Usually within the scruff of the neck.

The owner’s contact details are then recorded against the number of the microchip and stored on a national database.

Most vet practices offer a microchipping service, as do many animal rescue centres and groomers. Costs can vary. If your dog is already chipped, you must make sure that the information held on the register is up to date.

Dog breeders

If your female dog has puppies, you must have them microchipped and registered to an approved database by the time they are 8 weeks old. The new keeper must update the contact information on the database at the transfer of keepership.

A dog must not be transferred to a new owner until it has been microchipped.

The government has information on dogs which are banned or strictly controlled.

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