Having your dog microchipped is mandatory. Ensuring the Council has been advised of the microchip number is the best way to ensure that if your dog is found away from home, it can be reunited with you as soon as possible.

All dogs must be implanted with a functioning microchip of the prescribed type, with the exceptions listed below.  A microchip is a reliable way to identify your 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 dog's 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 dogs 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 they will check databases to see whether that chip number is recorded, so that they may contact the dog's owner or return the dog back to it's home.
  • 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 has fallen out, a dog may need to be inserted with another chip, but this is uncommon.

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

The National Dog Database (NDD) was designed so that any Council officer can scan your dog to find it's microchip number. From there hopefully the officer can find the dog's owner 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 straying dogs, and also menacing and dangerous dogs as they move around the country.

  • Trained officers 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 free service is only for dogs registered and resident in the Christchurch City Council area. Dogs must be currently registered in Christchurch prior to being microchipped.
  • Your local vet can also insert a microchip in your dog, at your expense (costs may range from $20 to $50).
  • If you have your dog microchipped at a vet, remember to let the Council know the microchip number.  If we don't have the chip recorded, we can't check it. 

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.

  • If your dog is or has been microchipped by a provider other than the Christchurch City Council, please ensure that you advise the Council of the microchip number.
  • Your vet will generally not do this for you as it is the dog owners responsibility.
  • This is a legal requirement.
  • Where the Council doesn't have the microchip information recorded, it will be more difficult to reunite a lost dog with it's owner. 

The law requires the following dogs to have a microchip:

  • 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.  Dogs classified as menacing or dangerous are included in the dogs that may 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, such as Police or Aviation dogs, or other rural working dogs, 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 a fixed fee of $300) may be issued to owners who don’t comply.

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 your female dog spayed as soon as possible, where you are not intending 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.

Seek advice from your vet about this procedure.

Neutering of male dogs will often help prevent aggression and wandering, thereby making the dog 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.