While many of us are or have been dog owners at some point in our lives, we aren’t all experts and some might not realise that not microchipping a pooch can result in a hefty fine.

Direct Line Pet insurance has revealed that one in 10 dog owners are breaking the law by not microchipping their pet.

This data comes from an Opinium survey of 2000 UK Adults which was conducted from November 15 to 18, 2022.

Dog owners could receive a £500 fine for not microchipping their dog

Since 2016, it has been a legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped and failing to do so could result in a fine of up to £500.

Ayr Advertiser: It has been a legal requirement to microchip a pet dog since 2016It has been a legal requirement to microchip a pet dog since 2016 (Image: Canva)

The research shows that collective fines could reach a staggering £525 million, along with the risk of criminal prosecution.  

Microchipping a dog costs around £20 and carries no health risks.

It’s also essential in reuniting owners with missing dogs and the research shows that nearly a third (29%) admitted that their dog had gone missing at least once from their home.

According to the RSPCA, the microchip contains a code that is unique to each animal and it is quickly inserted under the skin.

If a dog with a microchip gets lost, the chip can be scanned and matched to the owner’s contact details which are all kept on a national database.

For a microchip to be kept up to date, owners will need to make sure that any changes in their contact details, such as their address or phone number, are also changed on the database.

Ayr Advertiser: Pet owners could face a £500 fine if they don't microchip their dogPet owners could face a £500 fine if they don't microchip their dog (Image: Canva)

If contact details are not kept up to date, not only will they struggle to be reunited with their dog should they become lost, but they’re also liable for a fine of £500.

Madeline Pike, Veterinary Nurse for Direct Line Pet Insurance, comments: “Dogs are more than just pets to their owners, they’re family members that deserve the very best care and protection. With the staggering number of dogs still not microchipped, there is a real risk of thousands of loved pets going missing and potentially not being returned to their owners. Microchipping gives your pet the best chance of being identified and returned to you if they are lost or stolen.

“It’s important to keep your information up to date, such as if you move house or change vet, and updating your details is easily done by contacting the database which your dog is registered on. Our research is an important reminder that pet owners should stay informed about the latest safety, insurance, health, and protection measures for their dog.”