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  • Not everyone is aware, so we're spreading the word that all dogs in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland must be microchipped - since the law changed in April 2016.

    While microchipping usually costs £15-£20 at a local vet's practice, you can get it done for free (please donate if you can) when you book an appointment with the charity Dogs Trust.

    A microchip (an implant about the size of a grain of rice) stores a dog owner's details on an electronic database, which makes it easier to reunite them with their pooch if it gets lost. You can have dogs of any breed or size microchipped. 

    Owners who fail to comply with the new law risk a fine of up to £500, though they'll first be given 21 days to get their dog microchipped and avoid having to pay it.

    If you've no Dogs Trust centre nearby, or you can't get an appointment, see the Dogs Trust Facebook page for free microchipping pop-up events happening all over the UK.

    • There's no limit on how many dogs per owner can be microchipped, as long as you book an appointment in advance. The microchipping process takes about 10 minutes and Dogs Trust says it won't cause your dog any lasting discomfort.

      The tiny implant includes a unique ID number that's stored alongside the owner's details, which means if your dog goes missing, it's easier to trace as the code can be read by radio-wave scanners. For more info, see Dogs Trust Microchipping.