Dr Jan Jones writes: I made a comment about dog safety at the recent CAT meeting and have been asked to contribute some information.
It is now a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped and this is usually done by all reputable puppy breeders or at a vet practice. The microchip only holds an identifying barcode and therefore must be registered with one of the several organisations for this purpose which will store important contact information such as the owner’s name, address and telephone numbers; a fee is charged for this but may have been included in the price of the puppy. A further small fee may be charged if and when any of the essential details need to be updated.
The very important thing to remember is to keep this contact information up-to-date!! We hear of so many dogs at rescue centres with a microchip which does not have the dog owner’s current address or phone number so it is completely useless and the owners cannot be traced.
It is a good idea to ask the vet to check a dog’s microchip is still in place and working when it has its annual vaccination booster & check-up. The holding database can then be checked by the owner for reassurance that everything is in order and up-to-date.
(A useful website enables you to enter your dog’s chip number and it will give you the name of the company that holds the registration and its phone number.)
Finally, this a helpful list provided by the police to help keeping your dog safe, especially important during the current spate of dog thefts.