It is now law to have your dog microchipped, and owners who fail to comply could be fined £500 if their dogs are over eight weeks old.
All dogs in England and Scotland must be microchipped as part of a bid to reduce the numbers of lost and stolen dogs.
It is estimated by the government that thousands of dog owners have still to comply with the new rule, with as many as one million animals, around one in eight, still waiting to be chipped.
Since similar legislation was introduced in Wales in March last year, and in Northern Ireland in 2012, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has reported falling numbers of lost, stray, and abandoned dogs.
A dog microchip is around the size of a grain of rice, and is inserted under the loose skin on the back of the animal’s neck, giving it a unique 15-digit identity code.
The process is seen by vets as the most effective reunification tool for lost pets. It typically costs less than £20 and lasts a lifetime.
Mandy Lythe of the Isle Rescue, that takes in dogs from Doncaster and North Lincolnshire, said: “Any vet or qualified welfare organisation or Rescue can micro-chip a dog. There is a small charge, but sometimes the local council’s dog wardens will do this for free. It is quick and usually painless for the dog, so there is no excuse for not getting your dog micro-chipped.”
She added: “It is also important that people remember to keep details held on the micro-chip databases up to date. So many forget to update their details when they move house or change phone numbers, and if their dog is lost or stolen, and its micro-chip is scanned , then it is vital that details are correct so that the owner can be contacted and the dog re-united.
“So many dogs that are found in this country are probably never re-united with their owners simply because their contact details are not correct.”