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.


Each dog only needs to be microchipped once.  The microchip is a small transponder (it doesn’t have a power source) about the size of a grain of rice, inserted into the scruff of your dog’s neck. The procedure is as painless as an injection and takes about two seconds. It contains a unique identification number that belongs only to your dog. When scanned, this microchip will provide the unique number which, if checked against the National Dog Database, will provide your contact details as a reliable way to identify your dog from any other dog, for the rest of its life.

When a dog is found the Council scans the dog looking for the unique microchip identification number and use the details from the National Dog Database to help find its owner.

The National Dog Database was designed so Councils 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

  • Trained officers at the Christchurch City Animal Shelter (10 Metro Place, Bromley) who can insert a microchip for you every Wednesday between 11am to 12noon (no appointment is necessary). 
    Note: This service is free for all dogs registered in Christchurch
  • 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.

Dog already microchippped

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 your dog has. The Council will then update the National Dogs Database with your details.

The law

Section 36A of the Dog Control Act 1996 requires all dogs registered for the first time to be microchipped with a functioning microchip transponder.

This new law only affects the following dogs, from 1 July 2006 and means all the below dogs must be microchipped. This will mainly apply to new puppies or first time registered dogs. 

  • Dogs registered for the first time in New Zealand
  • Dogs that have been impounded on the second occasion
  • 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 impounded for the second time will have the microchip implanted prior to release (if not already inserted), free of charge.

Dogs (apart from the above exceptions) registered prior to 1 July 2006 will not need 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 must still be microchipped.

The microchip must meet International Standards Organisation standards and the method of inserting must meet Veterinarian standards. Whoever inserts the microchip in your dog must have completed some formal training. Your Council or veterinarian can give you more information about the standards. More information is also available at the www.dia.govt.nz(external link) website.

The following extract of the legislation clearly sets out what may happen if you decide not to have your dog microchipped. “Every person commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $3000 who fails to comply with the relevant subsections of the Dog Control Act 1996.” 

Infringement notices may be issued to owners who don’t comply with the requirement to microchip, and these notices carry a fixed fee of $300.


Your bitch will come into season for at least three weeks, every six months from approximately six months of age. If you do not wish to have this inconvenience, it is advisable to have her spayed as soon as possible. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no truth in the belief that it is better to let your bitch have a litter of puppies first.

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’s 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 dog as soon as possible, before he can get into bad habits.

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