All dogs in England must be microchipped
All dogs in the UK are legally required to have been chipped by the time they are eight weeks old. The microchip law does not replace requirements for dogs to wear a collar and tag with their owner's name and address when in a public place. Dog owners maybe fined if their dog is not microchipped and wearing an ID collar.
A microchipped dog has a better chance of being identified and returned to you, if they become lost or stolen, especially if your dog escapes without its collar or loses its collar. Most vet surgeries, rescue centres and Councils have microchip scanners.
Important - Microchipping is only effective if you keep your details up to date. If you move house or change your telephone number you must make sure that you tell the database you are registered with.
Free microchipping for dogs of Harlow residents
Harlow Council, will be able to microchip your dog for free provided that you meet the following terms and conditions:
- The dog is your pet and is not part of a dog breeding business.
- The owner is a resident of Harlow.
- The owner will assist the warden by holding the dog during the process.
- The dog is older than 12 weeks
The offer of free microchipping by Harlow Council is at the Council's discretion and subject to availability.
Request a free microchipping appointment
To request an appointment you will need to complete the following application form:
Alternatively you can contact an Advisor at Contact Harlow to request a booking.
Once we have received the completed request form, we will contact you to arrange an appointment to visit you at home and microchip your dog.
The microchipping appointment
The Dog Warden will visit your home to insert a tiny microchip under your dog’s skin, whilst you hold your dog. This gives the dog their own unique code which can be scanned and matched to your contact details, which are kept on a database.
Why should I get my dog microchipped?
Stray dogs can sometimes be a problem in Harlow and we would like to reduce the number that we collect. A dog that is loose or escapes into a public place and is not under close supervision can sometimes be perceived as a menace. A stray dog will foul, can be aggressive and in some circumstances may attack other dogs or animals or in the worst case attack people. Microchipping your dog is a requirement by law that will not stop your dog straying, however it will greatly improve the chances that your dog and you will be reunited.
Will my dog find the microchipping procedure painful?
The microchip is a very small electronic device, about the size of a grain of rice. It is inserted painlessly just under the skin of the dog, at the scruff of the neck.
Is it the law that I identify my dog?
Yes, all dog owners have a legal obligation under the Control of Dogs Act 1992 to provide their pet with a collar and ID tag that identifies the owner’s name and address, when in a public place. A collar and tag is still a requirement, even if your dog is microchipped. A telephone number is optional (but strongly advisable). An owner can be fined up to £5,000 if the dog is not wearing identification. Dogs exempt from wearing a collar and ID tag in public include: dogs on official duty for the armed forces, HM Customs and Excise or police; sport dogs and packs of hounds; dogs used for capturing or destroying vermin; dogs used for driving/tending cattle or sheep; guide dogs for the blind; and dogs used for emergency rescue work. It is now also a legal requirement for all dogs in England to be microchipped (since 6 April 2016).
How can I get my dog microchipped?
How can I update the details on the microchip?
Please remember that if your phone number, home address or email address change, you must update your dog’s microchip information, if you do not, then the microchip is useless.
You will need to know which microchipping database your pet is registered to in the UK. Then you can contact the database directly to make your changes. If you don't have your chip number ask your vet if they will scan it for you.
UK Microchip Databases