The Microchipping dog law has come into effect in the UK on 6th of April 2016.
All dog owners are now legally required to have their dogs microchipped. They must have their details registered on databases such as Petlog, Anibase or Pettrac. Dog owners are also required to keep their details up to date. Failure to have a dog microchipped could now lead to fines of up to £500 for non compliance.
What does the Microchipping Dog Law however mean for professional dog walkers? Could professional dog walkers be liable and be fined if they were found to be walking dogs that have not been microchipped?
We asked the question to a leading authority in Dog Law, Trevor cooper (Doglaw Ltd) what the impact of the Microchipping Dog Law is on professional dog walkers: “The person who is responsible for having a dog microchipped will be the keeper, which in the circumstances you’ve outlined would be the person with whom the dog ‘normally’ resides. So, unless you are boarding the dog for more than a few weeks, you would have no obligation to get the dog microchipped. However, you do of course have an obligation to comply with the collar & tag law”. “The dog walker would only be in breach of the regulations if they are the keeper of the dog ie. the person with whom the dog normally resides”.
So the situation is clear as far as professional dog walkers are concerned.
It might be useful, however, for professional dog walkers to know if all the dogs they walk are microchipped. Microchip scanners or readers are available from various on line shops. They are easy to use and fit in a coat pocket.
Professional dog walkers can use a microchip scanner to check if the dogs they walk are microchipped or if their microchip is still in place. They can also use a microchip scanner if they find a stray dog. They must then report the dog and microchip number to the local dog warden. Some microchip scanners will alert if the dog has been reported missing, for example the Halo Microchip Scanner. This greatly helps the dog, the owner and the warden, and ensures a swift and positive outcome.
Dog owners who travel to Europe with their dogs can use a microchip scanner to check that their dog’s microchip is still in place and can be easily scanned prior to travelling abroad. A microchip can sometimes “migrate” within a dog’s body from its original position. It is therefore useful to check that it can easily be scanned and avoid stressing situations at passport control.
If their dog is fitted with a temperature sensing chip, dog owners can also check their dog’s temperature with some of these microchip scanners.
There are different types of microchip scanners: