1. ITV Report

New microchipping laws- What you need to know

You could be fined £500 from today if you haven't had your dog microchipped. The tiny device means an owner can be traced if they go missing.

The law now states that every dog must be chipped by the time they are eight weeks old.

Just over half of dogs in the UK are currently microchipped, however the Government says stray animals cost councils and charities millions of pounds every year.

Vets say the new law will help them identify stray animals Credit: ITV Border

"The chip gets implanted in between the shoulder blades - just underneath - where there's not much room for it to kind of wiggle round. And then when a scanner is passed over the top of the dog's shoulder blades, it will read that chip number."

– Helen Wilkes, Dog Rescue Centre
Perdy has had his microchip fitted Credit: ITV Border

At Highgate Vets in Kendal staff say the new law will make it easier for them to help injured or lost dogs.

"Very often on a Saturday afternoon we'll get someone phone up and say, 'we've found a dog wandering in our garden, it was here yesterday as well, can we bring it down to you?' And we'll say 'yes, pop it in' and we'll just scan that dog, find out what the microchip number is, and then immediately we can then contact the owner.

"It stops people basically saying, no it's nothing to do with me, it's not my dog, it used to be mine but now it's the responsibility of somebody else, so I think it makes people more responsible pet owners."

– Nick Gray, Highgate Vets
A dog chip Credit: ITV Border

As a nation of dog lovers, back in 1932 everyone rushed to get their pet license and it's hoped there'll be a similar response to microchipping.

But the good news now is that if your dog is found without a chip, you'll have 3 weeks to get it done before you're fined £500.

"You get so attached to them, they're just another little member of the family, it's the best way to get them chipped. Wouldn't want this one going missing."

– Vickie Miles, Dog owner