New research by Dogs Trust reveals that many dog owners wrongly think a microchip is the only form of identification their dog needs.
In 2016 it became a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped and since 1992 dog owners have also been required to ensure their dog has a collar and tag with their contact details on.
However, this is sadly often overlooked and could mean dogs are delayed in being reunited with their owners and potentially face being put to sleep by local authorities.
Alex Jackson, Head of Campaigns at Dogs Trust, said: “It is great that so many owners are aware of the need for their dog to be microchipped, but it is concerning that this awareness comes at the expense of dogs wearing more visible forms of identification.
“As outlined in 1992’s Control of Dogs Act your dog’s tag should display your name, address and postcode, but our research revealed that 16% of people thought that including a telephone number was enough. The details held on the tag and microchip containing the essential details of the owner is one of the simplest ways for a dog to be reunited with its owners should they become accidently separated.
“We urge everyone to check they have a tag with the right information on today.”
Research also reveals that some owners simply hadn’t got around to microchipping their dogs, even though over 90% know it’s a legal requirement.
Dogs Trust is just one of many charities and organisations that offers microchipping free of charge at its community events around the country.
Last week, the importance of up-to-date microchip details was highlighted after Hunter, a young Spaniel was separated from his owner whilst on a walk. After being found by a member of the public and taken into the Essex-based rehoming centre, the team were able to scan his microchip and ensure that he was on his way home in no time.
Alex continues: “We were delighted that after years of campaigning microchipping became law in 2016, but it is ineffective if owners aren’t updating the details.
“The simple process of keeping microchip contact details up-to-date could be the lifesaving difference for a much-loved pet going home to their owner instead of potentially being put to sleep in a local pound if they aren’t reunited with their owner within seven days. But worryingly 41% of owners who have had their dogs microchipped, said that they hadn’t got around to doing it.
“Sadly, there is still a stray dog problem in this country, and the combination of a lack of collar and tag a microchip that hasn’t been updated could be the difference between a dog ending up in a Council-run pound or curling up in its bed at home.”
To find out more information you can visit www.dogstrust.org.uk.