A small microchip is inserted under the skin, between the shoulder blades, which stores a unique identifier. This number is linked to a secure database with the owner's contact details so that a lost pet can be traced back to their rightful owner. This is typically carried out during vaccinations or when the animal is under general anaesthesia for neutering.
It is now compulsory, since April 2016, for all dogs in England to be microchipped to help deter theft, encourage responsible ownership and to help re-unite lost dogs. We also strongly recommend that other pets are microchipped, especially cats, to help to return them home if they stray or are involved in an accident.