Dog owners in England and Scotland have nine months to get their dogs microchipped or they could face a fine.

The two countries are following the lead of Northern Ireland by making it mandatory for all dogs over eight weeks old to be implanted with a microchip. The deadline for pet owners is April 6, 2016.

Ireland passed a mandatory microchipping order in 2012, giving owners of puppies until September 2015 to get the rice-sized implant. Owners of older dogs had until this March.

England announced its plan to do the same in 2013, according to the BBC, but at that time, Scotland did not see the need to follow suit. The BBC reported in 2013 that the Scottish government said there was "no evidence compulsory microchipping would effectively tackle welfare issues." But in March 2015, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead proved that officials had changed their tune.

“I can now confirm that compulsory microchipping will be introduced in Scotland next year, after it was overwhelmingly backed in our public consultation," Lochhead said. "This will be a huge help in reducing the number of lost and abandoned dogs in Scotland."

According to AKC Reunite, one in three pets is lost at some point in its lifetime. Having a microchip with updated contact information will greatly increase the odds your dog will be returned to you should he get lost. Also, newer devices like GPS trackers add an extra layer of protection for your pet.

Tell us your opinion—should the United States enforce compulsory microchipping?

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