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Approximately one in five dog owners aren't prepared for the law changes in April – are you?
From April 2016, all dog owners in England and Scotland will have to ensure their dog is microchipped. The recent developments to the Microchipping of Dogs regulations means that by spring, all dog owners in the United Kingdom are required to have their pets both microchipped and registered by law – Wales and Northern Ireland are currently enforcing this already.
Microchipping is offered at almost all vets across the country for a small fee (often £10 - £30 per animal). The Dogs Trust are currently offering the service for free – so there’s no excuse to not have your four-legged friends done before the law changes in April. Click here to see a full list of participating Dogs Trust venues.
We wouldn’t recommend waiting until the law comes in before getting your dog microchipped as you could face a £500 fine or further criminal prosecution if it comes to the attention of the local authorities.
As well as being microchipped, it is also a legal requirement for your dog to wear a collar and a name tag with your name, address and telephone number on it.
If you’re planning countryside walks and your dog is well behaved, you don’t have to keep it on a lead on public paths as long as it’s under close control. It is worth remembering that a farmer is legally allowed to destroy a dog if they believe it is traumatising their animals, so if we’d recommend keeping dogs on leads around farmland for everyone’s safety.
Finally, pick up your dog’s poop! While it isn’t a legal requirement to clean up after your dog in woodlands or on agricultural land, it is still unpleasant and can cause infections and illnesses. Keep your dogs wormed to help protect them and make sure you have enough poop bags when going for a walk!
More information on Microchipping
More information on the Countryside Code