Dog owners should be aware that a significant new law change will take effect from April next year.
Microchipping in dogs will come into force in 2016 in Scotland and is potentially one of the biggest legislative changes in dog ownership in generations.
The law requires that all dogs have a microchip implanted from April 2016 if they don’t already have one.
This microchip then links to a database which holds the current and previous owners’ contact details.
Don’t worry - the database is private and may only be accessed by authorised professionals for things like finding an owner for a lost doggie.
There are around 700,000 dogs in Scotland and approximately two-thirds of those are already microphipped.
A Scottish Government survey showed that more than 83 per cent of respondents strongly supported compulsory microchipping.
If a lost dog presents to a vet or an SSPCA inspector, it is simply a case of scanning the dog and phoning the owner to pick him or her up.
The law will also help to combat puppy farming which is a growing problem with sick or ill puppies being illegally imported from Ireland, among other places.
But what does this mean for you? First and foremost, check your dog’s microchip.
If he or she has one in, are the details correct? Have you moved or changed phone numbers since it was implanted? If so, you need to urgently check and update the details on the database. Your original certificate will have contact details for the database on it, and usually has a nice easy log in for the database website so you can update your details any time from the comfort of your living room. If you are struggling, call your vet and ask for assistance.
If your dog doesn’t have a chip in, then call your vet and book him or her an appointment to have one done! It is a simple 10 minute appointment and an injection of a chip.