Microchipping law causes paws for thought


Petplan survey reveals Brits’ mass confusion over new law, with respondents believing horses, rabbits and cats will be legally required to be microchipped from April

With less than one week to go before dog microchipping becomes compulsory in England, Scotland and Wales, Petplan, the UK’s favourite pet insurer, has released research revealing the extent of the nation’s confusion around the new law. In a recent survey of 2,000 British dog owners, respondents believed the law would also apply to horses, rabbits and cats. Of the dog owners surveyed, a quarter had not heard of the new law, with 40% unaware that the law also requires owners to keep their microchip details up to date.


The survey clearly evidenced Brits’ love for their canine companions, with two-fifths declaring themselves happy to pay over £500 as a reward if their dog went missing. Despite this, 40% of respondents who were aware of the new law but had yet to chip their dogs, admitted that they had not done so, due to reservations about the cost of the procedure. With the average microchipping session costing around £20 and the fine for dogs found without microchips standing at £500, Petplan’s survey uncovered significant inconsistencies around the British public’s stance on the cost of microchipping. Aside from potentially incurring a fine, lost dogs without chips are likely to remain lost for a longer period of time, increasing the risk of them coming to harm.


The high instance of dogs escaping during everyday pursuits highlighted the fact that dog loss can happen to even the most careful of owners. Of the dog losses noted in the study, nearly two fifths occurred when the owner was taking their pet on a daily walk and nearly half (47.1%) of respondents reported having a dog escape from a garden which was considered to be secure. With man’s best friend able to break out of even seemingly safe locations and while taking part in quotidian activities, having dogs microchipped mitigates the likelihood of them not being found for an extended time – saving the owner time, heartache and, potentially, money.


Surprisingly, whilst more than half of dog owners cited expensive veterinary bills as one of their biggest concerns around dog ownership, over 45% of respondents reported not having their dogs insured. With our survey showing that a third of lost dogs came to harm while missing – 84.8% of which needed veterinary care which incurred treatment costs – it’s important to ensure that pets are covered with the most comprehensive insurance policy, should they come to harm.


In a bid to inform the public about the impending changes in the law from 6th April 2016, Petplan’s resident vet, Brian Faulkner, recently visited Wagtail Drive in Suffolk to offer free microchipping and advice to residents.

Of the upcoming change in the law, Petplan vet, Brian, comments: “Microchipping is an important part of responsible pet ownership; both ensuring that your dog is microchipped and that existing chip details are up-to-date. The residents of Suffolk’s Wagtail Drive showed themselves to be well-informed on the details of the new law, but as our survey states, this isn’t reflected across the UK; a quarter of British dog owners still haven’t heard about the change in legislation. As the 6th April is fast approaching, Petplan would urge all UK dog owners to microchip their dog and ensure their microchip details are up to date if they already have their dog chipped.”


Much like securing appropriate insurance for your pet, ensuring dogs are microchipped is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Petplan is committed to safeguarding the welfare of all pets and encourages pet owners to comply with the new law ahead of April 6th 2016. To find out more about the new law and what it means for dog owners visit 


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