How much does Microchipping cost?

Microchipping is a widely recognised and effective method of identifying lost pets and reuniting them with their owners. It’s also a legal requirement for dogs in the UK, and is legally required for cats as of 10th June 2024. In this guide, we’ll cover what microchipping is, how to get it done, and how much it costs.

Girl sat with dog and cat on the sofa
28 Mar 2024

What is microchipping?


Microchipping involves a small electronic device (a microchip) being implanted under the skin of a pet. The microchip is inserted between their shoulder blades by injection.

Once the microchip has been inserted, your pet won’t be able to feel it. A special capsule surrounding it means that it doesn’t break down and will last for your pet’s lifetime.

The microchip contains a unique identification number linked to your contact details which are held in a database. If your pet goes missing, the chip can be scanned by a vet, a rescue centre or the police to help reunite you with your pet. This system is primarily used for dogs, cats and other pets at risk of being lost or stolen.

It's important to note that microchips aren’t linked to GPS and won’t actively track your pet’s location.

How much does microchipping cost?


The cost of microchipping can vary depending on:

  • The type of microchip used
  • The vet or rescue centre providing the service
  • Any extra services bundled with the procedure

Let’s look at the average costs associated with microchipping and factors influencing the pricing. We’ll also look at what’s covered and not covered by Asda Pet Insurance.


Average cost of microchipping for dogs in the UK


The cost of microchipping in the UK can vary depending on where you get it done. Vets, pet shops, rescue centres and dedicated microchipping clinics may offer this service at different price points.

The average cost of getting your dog microchipped in the UK by a private vet is around £14.50[1]. Prices range from £10 up to £30[2], so it pays to do your research. This fee pays for the implantation of the microchip and initial registration. 

There are also three charities in the UK that offer free microchipping for dogs: 

  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
  • Blue Cross
  • Dogs Trust

Anyone is eligible for free dog microchipping from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and Dogs Trust. Blue Cross asks pet owners for a contribution of what they can afford, but there is no minimum charge. It’s free if you can’t afford a donation. For Blue Cross, you also need to live in a catchment area and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Pension credit (not the standard state retirement pension)
  • Housing benefit
  • Income support
  • Working tax credit
  • Council tax benefit (not 25 per cent single person discount)
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income-based employment and support allowance
  • Universal credit
  • Child tax credit



Average cost of microchipping for cats in the UK


The average cost of microchipping cats in the UK is between £15 and £25[3]. Similarly to microchipping for dogs, the specific cost can vary based on factors such as the location of the vets or microchipping clinic, the type of microchip used, and any additional services included in the procedure. Both Blue Cross and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home provide free microchipping for cats.


Is microchipping a legal requirement in the UK?


As of 6th April 2016, it’s a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped and registered on a database by the time they’re eight weeks old[4]. It’s also up to the owners to make sure their contact information in the microchip database is accurate and up-to-date. From the 10th June 2024, all cats must be microchipped and registered on a database by 20 weeks old[5].

If you move house or change your phone number, you must update these details with the microchip provider. Failure to comply with the microchipping regulation can result in a £500 fine.


What are the benefits of microchipping?


There are several advantages to getting your pet microchipped.

  • Identification: it provides a permanent form of identification, unlike collars that can get lost or be removed.
  • Quick and painless procedure: microchipping is very quick and usually done during a routine vet visit. It involves a simple injection and is relatively painless.
  • Proof of ownership: it’s a reliable form of proof of ownership, which can be essential in cases of disputes or legal matters involving pets.
  • Health and safety: microchipping is a safe and relatively low-cost procedure that adds an extra layer of protection to your pet’s overall health and safety.
  • International travel: microchips are usually a legal requirement for entering other countries when travelling with your pet.
  • Peace of mind: you’ll know your pets can be easily identified in case they get lost or separated.

If you own a cat, you can also get a microchip-activated cat flap, which contains a microchip scanner so it only opens if it recognises the specific microchip.


Keeping the information up to date


You must make sure you keep your pet’s information up to date on the microchip database. Too many cats and dogs don’t get reunited with their owners due to the information related to the microchip being out of date. If you need to change your details, there are three easy steps to follow:


  • Get your pet’s microchip number: make sure you keep this in a safe place so you can access it easily. If you don’t know it, call your vet to see if they have it on record or take your pet to be scanned.
  • Find your pet’s microchip brand: if you’ve lost your original paperwork and are unsure of the brand, you may be able to get your pet’s details by entering their number using Petlog’s look-up tool.
  • Update your details: once you have your pet’s number and the brand they’re registered with, contact the brand and update your details.

Microchipping for puppies and kittens


A dog can be microchipped at any age, however, most vets will advise that puppies are microchipped around seven to eight weeks old. If they’re microchipped when they are too young, it might be more painful or the microchip could move from the original place and cause issues. In the UK, it’s a legal requirement to microchip your dog before they are eight weeks old unless a specific exemption applies.

Puppies shouldn’t be sold before they are eight weeks old. If you’re buying a puppy, check they’re microchipped by the breeder before you take them home. The breeder should also give you the necessary paperwork. This may be a hard copy or via email and will include your puppy’s microchip number and details of the database they’re registered with. You must then change the information from the breeder’s details to your own. If they haven’t had the puppy microchipped, they must supply you with an exemption certificate from a vet.

Many kittens are microchipped at the same time as being spayed or neutered when they are already under general anaesthetic. You should have your cat microchipped before they go outside for the first time, and legally by the time they are 20 weeks old.


Does Asda Money Pet Insurance cover microchipping?


Asda Money Pet insurance doesn’t cover the cost of routine procedures like microchipping. Pet insurance is generally designed to help with unexpected vet expenses like illness or injury. Routine and preventive care like vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and microchipping are usually considered the responsibility of the pet owner.

Always review the terms and conditions of your pet insurance policy to understand what’s covered and what isn’t. If you're unsure, contact your provider directly for clarification on their coverage policies regarding microchipping.


How do I protect my pet and how can Asda Money help?


Pet insurance can offer financial protection and peace of mind in the event of unexpected vet expenses.

Explore Pet Insurance at Asda Money and protect your pet today. Choose the right insurance for you and your pet by comparing our different cover types without any of the confusing insurance jargon. 








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