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Can I microchip my own dog?

No, is the quick answer. While there are a number of places you can buy microchips online, and they even come with the tools to implant the dog, microchipping and registration should only be done by a trained professional. These trained professionals include vet practitioners, vet nurses and lay implanters (see below).

Microchipping your own dogs may be seen as a way to save some money, but it’s not the best practice and should never be attempted.

What does the law say?

Section 10.2 of MICROCHIPPING OF DOGS REGULATIONS 2015 (MODR 2015) [link] says the following:

  • A person shall not microchip and register a dog unless he or she is—
    • (a) a veterinary practitioner,
    • (b) a veterinary nurse,
    • (c) a person—
      • (i) trained in accordance with Regulation 11, to insert the microchip and correctly handle the data and identifying material for the microchip, and
      • (ii) whose name, address and other contact information are published on the website of a dog identification database.
Section 10.2 MODR 2015

Microchipping can only be done by a trained professional. Other links to laws around control of dogs and microchipping can be seen here. We also have an FAQ about microchipping.

Lay implanters

MODR 2015 has a provision for trained non-vet personnel to perform microchipping and registration. Typically this used for rescues and charities who can microchip their own dogs.

Each of the Irish registries maintains and publishes a list of lay implanters, here are links to them

You can contact these organisations if you are interested in becoming a lay implanter. Each of these providers may have different criterion about how to become a lay implanter. Lay implanters are not allowed to implant their own dogs.

What do I do if I implanted my own dog by mistake?

Note: There could be legal implications for implanting your own dog.

There is a provision in the law to accept a registration where the implantation wasn’t done by a professional, after all it’s more important that the dog is registered on a database. You will need to bring your dog to the vet, have it scanned, the vet will certify your information and record this on the microchip database.

This is also in a similar vein when your dog is microchipped with a non-standard microchip (the law stipulates ISO 11784 chip microchips, which contain 15 digits of data). Say for example your dog was microchipped with a microchip that has only 13 digits on it for some reason. Again you will need to bring the dog to the vet to be scanned, and they can decide if they can put in a new chip, or they will register the non-standard chip. There is a danger that when your dog is scanned by an approved ISO Standard 11785 device that it may not read properly, in this case your vet may elect implant your dog again.

Can a vet implant their own dog?

Vets and lay implanters are not allowed to microchip a dog that they have interest in, Section 10.4, this includes their own dog that they fully or partly own, a dog they have financial (pecuniary) interest in or a dog that they take care of, if it’s their partners or employees dog.

  • (4) A person shall not microchip and register a dog with a microchip if he or she or a connected person-
    • (a) has a pecuniary interest or other beneficial interest in the dog,
    • (b) is the owner or part owner of the dog,
    • (c) has possession or control of the dog whether on a full time or parttime basis, or
    • (d) is a partner or an employee of a person to whom subparagraph (a), (b) or (c) refers
Section 10(4) MODR 2015

If you have concerns about a vet practise you can contact the Veterinary Council of Ireland who regulates vet practitioners and vet nurses, www.vci.ie

Laws in Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland it’s possible to register your own dog, but you do need to have the microchip implanted by a professional. Registration in this case means registering with one of the approved microchip databases.

Updated on September 6, 2023

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