Micro-chipping Myths Busted

Microchipping won't stop attacks from other dogs.

Microchipping provides a vital tool that encourages responsible dog ownership and will in turn reduce dog attacks. This will provide vital information on name, address and phone numbers. It will also help to reduce the number of stray dogs and provide vital information for combating dogs which are dangerously out of control as owners can be targeted and action taken. A chip provides an important step in dealing with irresponsible dog owners.

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The worst offenders won’t get their dogs microchipped. This change will only penalise sensible, responsible dog owners.

Enforcement officers can take action against the worst offenders who do not chip their dogs. The dog should be chipped ASAP and linked to an owner and an address.

Microchipping can provide police with a targeted enforcement action specifically against status or weapon dogs and can help deal with dogs that are dangerously out of control. It would be impractical to check every dog for a chip and so this would in no way penalise responsible dog owners.

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Microchipping costs too much. I may be forced to give up my dog.

The cost of a microchip is between £5 and £15 which is inexpensive compared to the food and vet bills associated with dog ownership. Should people struggle to find the money to chip their dog then organisations like PDSA, Blue Cross and Dogs Trust offer free chipping services to help these individuals. The cost of a chip should never be a barrier to responsible dog ownership. Microchipping is a one off cost to the owner (approx £15), unlike the dog licence which used to be an annual charge (approx £25).

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My dog is well behaved; I shouldn’t need to get it microchipped.

The benefits of a chip are huge and help you and your dog. The majority of responsible dog owners in the UK already have their dogs chipped. Should your dog be stolen or become lost microchipping means owners and pets can be reunited quickly reducing the stress on both you and your dog. If your dog were to escape your garden and be injured Vets can find you quickly, allowing potentially life saving work to be carried out on your pet and for you to get there quickly.

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Wouldn't bringing back the dog license be better than microchipping?

The licensing scheme was expensive to administer and costs for licences were far greater than the cost of a chip. The old licence was a paper copy that sat at home and did not help the dog or owner should the animal become lost.

A chip is a far better solution as it is cheap to apply and administer and lasts for life. A dog licence needs renewing every year, is costly and could become a barrier to dog ownership for some low income families or pensioners.

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Wouldn’t extending the breed ban to include dogs such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers be better?

Guide Dogs believes it is deed not breed which is to blame for dog attacks. We believe that there is no such thing as a bad dog and that responsibility lies with the owner, so there is no need to expand the current register. If we can find a way to improve training and responsible dog ownership then we can reduce the number of dog attacks we see today.

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Why not make all dogs walk on a lead in public instead?

Free running of dogs provides vital time to play and exercise. For a well trained and socialised dog it should pose no problem.

If you know your dog is more aggressive and you are in a public place then placing them on a lead or using a muzzle is the responsible thing to do. Should you see a guide dog or other assistance dog then it would be appropriate to keep your dog away or place it on a lead so as not to distract the dog from working.

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Why aren't you campaigning for microchipping in Scotland?

We are. Northern Ireland has introduced compulsory microchipping and England and Wales have announced they will be introducing it as well. This leaves Scotland the only country in the UK not to have compulsory microchipping. We continue to campaign to encourage the Scottish Parliament to follow the other counties across the UK and reconsider its stance on microchipping. You can help us by writing to your MSP about compulsory microchipping.

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