Legislation came into effect on 1 July 2006 that says dogs must be microchipped within two months of their first registration.

That is by the time they are five months old.

The legislation was brought in to make it easier to reunite lost dogs with their owners, as well as to help us keep track of problem dogs and their owners. The microchip provides a secure, life-long identification for your dog. Microchipping allows your dog to have a unique and permanent identification number. The number is stored on the National Dog Database, along with information gathered by the Council relating to your dog. This information can only be accessed by Animal Management staff.

Once your dog has been microchipped it does not cost you anything to register it on the National Dog Database. Simply advise Animal Management of your dog's registration details and the microchip number. Council will do the rest.

The microchip is very small (about the size of a grain of rice) and is implanted under the skin in the scruff of the neck of the dog. It functions like a barcode, which means it responds to a scanner and displays a 15-digit unique number.

You must microchip dogs that are:

  • Being registered for the first time
  • Impounded and unregistered
  • Impounded a second time since 1 July 2006

All of the following breeds:

  • Brazilian Fila
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Pitt Bull Terriers or predominantly Pitt Bull Terrier types
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • Any dogs classified as Dangerous or Menacing by action since 1 December 2003


Working farm dogs do not need to be microchipped although you may need to prove that this applies to your dog. If your dog is impounded while unregistered, it may be microchipped.

Dogs which are registered as a working dog and are used solely or principally for herding or driving stock are exempt from microchipping. No other working dog category is exempt. If you live on a lifestyle block and do not earn the majority of your living off that block through livestock you are not able to register your dog as a working dog.

If it is discovered that the dog is not used solely or principally for herding or driving stock the owner may be subject to legal proceedings for falsifying their registration application.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to advise anyone that my dog is microchipped?

Yes, you must advise the Council and provide a copy of the microchip certificate.

Does Animal Management microchip impounded dogs? If yes, what is the cost?

We microchip dogs that have been impounded for the second time or dogs that have been impounded and are not registered. The cost for this is $40.00.

If my dog is not required by law to be microchipped, can I still do it?

Yes, there are many dogs already microchipped by caring owners. Many exotic or expensive animals are microchipped all over the world. Call us we can help.

Once my dog is microchipped, will I have to register it?

Yes, microchipping does not replace dog registration. You still have to register your dog every year.

What are the benefits of microchipping?

Microchips can be scanned anywhere in New Zealand, so if your dog is lost, stolen or has escaped and strayed, a microchip can help to identify it. Every dog which is the subject of a complaint and every dog impounded will be scanned.

Who does Microchipping?

Any vet as well as Animal Management. It pays to shop around and find out the various charges. At the Animal Management Kennels the cost is $40.00.