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Vet issues stark warning to all dog owners who microchipped their pets

Veterinary surgeon Dr Linda Simon has urged dog owners to check their pet’s microchip records and update them if necessary – she says they shouldn’t be charged an admin fee to update their information

Owners can be fined £500 or face criminal prosecution if they do not microchip their pets

A warning has been issued to dog owners who have registered their pets with a microchipping database.

Veterinary surgeon Dr Linda Simon is urging owners to “choose a pet database that puts pet safety before profit”, especially in the wake of Britain’s cost of living crisis.

Dr Simon said: “Many pet database providers charge pet owners steep admin fees to make simple but crucial changes to their details – this shouldn’t be the case!

“I would recommend doing your research and choosing a DEFRA registered database that allows free updates of your pet’s important information.”

There are 17 pet databases in the UK alone that are registered by DEFRA – but 35 per cent of pet owners have no idea who their pet is registered with, according to research by Tailster.

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Owners must update their pet’s microchip records when their situation changes
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Finding out where your pet’s data is stored is a simple task,” said Dr Simon, who works as Pooch & Mutts in-house veterinary surgeon.

“All you need to do is take your pet to the vets and have them scan their microchip – a process which should take minutes.

“Having knowledge of where your pet’s information is stored will make it easier and faster to update and amend their details in the future should you need to.”

Under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015, owners can land themselves a £500 fine or criminal prosecution if they do not microchip and register their dog on an approved database.

Dr Simon added: “It’s the law to keep your pet’s details up to date, and it’s in your own interests – you don’t want your missing dog being returned to the wrong house.

“Despite this, 22 per cent of pet owners who have moved home admit they didn’t update their pet’s records when they did so.

“Moving house is full of overwhelming admin and documentation but remember – your pet is changing addresses too.

“Inform your pet database whenever you move home, your phone number changes or if your pet passes away; your pet’s records should reflect their current situation, just like for any precious member of your family.”

A Blue Cross statement adds: “Puppies must be microchipped before they go to their new homes, with the breeder being the first registered keeper.

“They are breaking the law if they do not register the puppy by the time they are eight-weeks-old.

“Breeders should also pass on correct microchip paperwork to the new owner when the puppy goes home.

“The law applies to dogs and puppies over the age of eight weeks. Exemptions are available if a vet believes there is a valid health reason not to microchip a dog.

“The vet must issue the owner with a certificate of exemption in this instance.

“Owners are required to keep their pets’ details up to date, for example if they move house.

“If you rehome your dog to someone else, you must give the new owner the correct microchip registration paperwork so that they can contact the database and register as the dog’s new owner.”

Do you have a dog story to share? Email paige.freshwater@reachplc.com.

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