Along with feeding their pooch premium dog food and ensuring that all their vaccinations are up to date, microchipping is one of the most important things that responsible owners can do for the welfare of their pets.

Indeed, by having your pup microchipped you are giving yourself the peace of mind that should your pet be lost or stolen you have the best possible chance of being reunited.

In fact, so important is this simple procedure that the government is making it compulsory that all dogs in England and Wales are microchipped from 2016.

And to show its support for this measure, the Kennel Club will be donating microchip scanners to every local authority over the next two years in time for enactment of the legislation.

"Compulsory microchipping will go a long way towards improving welfare by reuniting stray and lost dogs with their owners more quickly whilst also providing government with solutions to a number of issues relating to irresponsible dog ownership," explained Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary.

"It is also hoped that microchipping will help keep a record of where each dog has come from to improve traceability, and in turn assist with health and welfare issues such as puppy farming."

The news comes after the Microchipping Alliance estimated that in the first year of compulsory microchipping, annual savings to local authorities relating to dog welfare could be somewhere between £20.8 million and £23.2 million.

What's more, it seems that dog owners in England and Wales are overwhelmingly in favour of the new legislation. Indeed, having spoken with dog owners around the country Ms Kisko said that the Kennel Club was confident that compulsory microchipping will be well received.

"A recent Kennel Club survey highlighted public support for compulsory microchipping, with almost 90 per cent of people strongly in favour," she added.

Written by: Hannah