Microchipping of dogs was introduced on 1 July 2006. This was a Government initiative supported by tough laws that set about dealing with owners of dogs that attacked people, stock, domestic animals and protected wildlife.

Microchipping

  • Generally all dogs (see below for details and some exceptions) must be implanted with a functioning microchip of the prescribed type.  A microchip is a reliable way to distinguish your dog from any other dog, for the rest of its life.
  • The microchip is a small transponder (it doesn’t have a power source) about the size of a grain of rice, which is inserted into the scruff of the dog’s neck. The procedure is as painless as an injection and takes only a few seconds. The chip contains a unique identification number that belongs only to your dog. 
  • After the Council is advised of a dog's microchip number or has inserted the microchip themselves, they load that number against the dogs record on the Council database, which includes the dog's address and owner details.
  • From there the microchip number is uploaded along with other dog and owner details to the National Dog Database which holds records of all dog registered in New Zealand.  
  • The Council's Animal Management Officers carry microchip readers and can scan a dog to check for a microchip. From there will check all databases to see if that number is recorded in order to contact the owner or return the dog to it's home.
  • Having your dog microchipped, and ensuring that the Council has been advised of the number, is the best way to ensure that if your dog is found away from home, you and they can be reunited as soon as possible.
  • Occasionally when a dog is either imported with a non-prescribed chip (as are used in some other parts of the world), or when a chip has moved from its place of insertion or fallen out, a dog may need to be inserted with another chip, but this is uncommon.

The National Dog Database was designed so that any Council can scan your dog to find out its dog owner’s details, greatly increasing the chance of you and your dog being quickly reunited. This database makes it much easier for Animal Management Officers to keep track of any stray dogs, and also menacing and dangerous dogs as they move around the country.

If you have any questions about the microchipping process please feel free to contact the Animal management section on 03 941 8999.

Get your dog microchipped by

  • a trained officer who can insert a microchip into your dog for free at the Christchurch City Animal Shelter (10 Metro Place, Bromley), on a Wednesday between 11am to 12noon (no appointment is necessary).  This service is free for any dog registered and resident in Christchurch. Dogs must be registered prior to being microchipped.
  • Your local vet, who can insert a microchip for you at your expense (costs range from $20 - $50). Remember to let the Council know the microchip number if you have your dog microchipped at a vet. 

We strongly discourage owners from bringing any unvaccinated dog to the Animal Shelter for microchipping. It is very risky to bring dogs to the shelter that have not been vaccinated against parvo virus.

Dogs already microchipped

If your dog is (or has been) microchipped by a provider other than the Christchurch City Council, you will need to advise the Council of the microchip number that your dog has. 

Dogs affected

The law affects the following dogs,

  • Dogs registered for the first time in New Zealand from 1 July 2006.
  • Dogs that have been impounded on the second occasion. If a dog is impounded for a second time and does not have a microchip, it will have a microchip implanted prior to release.
  • Dogs that have been classified as menacing or dangerous from 1 December 2003. All dogs classified as menacing or dangerous may also be microchipped for free, however this will generally be done at the owner’s home at the time of classification.

 Dogs not needing to be microchipped:

  • Farm working dogs are exempt from the requirement to be microchipped, however owners may still choose to have this done. Other types of working dogs (eg Police or Aviation) must still be microchipped.

The requirement to microchip is under S36A of the Dog Control Act 1996. Your Council or veterinarian can give you more information about microchipping. More information is also available at the www.dia.govt.nz(external link) website.

It is an offence not to comply with the requirement to have a dog microchipped, and an infringement offence notice (with fixed fee of $300) may be issued to owners who don’t comply.


Desexing

A female dog may come into season for at least three weeks, this may happen every six months from approximately six months of age. It is advisable to have her spayed as soon as possible, where you are not going to breed from her. 

There is no truth in the belief that it is better to let your bitch have a litter of puppies before desexing.

Ask the vet if your dog should be sedated or muzzled prior to you bringing it in. This is good advice especially if your dog is of a nervous temperament, or you are not the first owner, and it can be aggressive. Neutering of male dogs will often help prevent aggression and wandering, thereby making him a more suitable pet with a calmer temperament. As with spaying, it is advisable to neuter your male dog as soon as possible, before he can get into bad habits.

The Christchurch City Council offer a discount on some registration fees for desexed dogs.