Microchipping of dogs: guidance for local authorities

This information is mainly aimed at local authorities and other delivery partners.

Compulsory microchipping of dogs

All dogs over eight weeks old in Scotland must be microchipped under the Microchipping of Dogs (Scotland) Regulations 2016. This came into force on 6 April 2016. This includes dogs being implanted with a microchip and having their details registered on a compliant database. The current keeper is the person responsible for ensuring that dogs are microchipped. 

These regulations set out the legal requirements for dog keepers relating to microchipping of dogs, and put in place a supporting framework of rules for microchip implanters and database operators.

The main effects of the regulations are to:

  • require mandatory microchipping of all dogs in Scotland and the recording of information about every dog and its keeper on a database complying with a specified set of conditions
  • set a technical standard for the type of microchip that must be used for the purposes of microchipping a dog under these Regulations

  • set out rules about who may implant a microchip of any kind in a dog in Scotland

This following guidance is mainly aimed at local authorities and other delivery partners. Information for dog owners and business can be found on mygov.scot.

Microchipping of cats and other pets will continue to be voluntary, however, we encourage pet keepers to consider microchipping their animals where possible and potentially useful.  We have long recommended microchipping as best practice in the identification of dogs and cats, including in our Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs and Code of Practice for the welfare of cats.  

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