The number of stray dogs has fallen to the lowest level in 20 years after compulsory microchipping was introduced, data has suggested.
Around 95 per cent of UK dogs are now fitted with a microchip with their owner's details that mean pets can be reunited with their families if they are lost or stolen, data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs show.
They have enabled thousands of dogs to be reunited with their owners and the Dogs Trust's annual survey found the number of strays fell last year by 21 per cent to the lowest levels since the survey began in 1997.
It is excellent to see that so many owners have taken action to get their dogs chipped
Animal Welfare Minister Lord Gardiner
Now, on the anniversary of the introduction of compulsory microchipping, owners are being reminded to make sure the details on the chips are up to date so they can be easily contacted if their pet is lost or stolen.
Animal Welfare Minister Lord Gardiner said: "Thanks to microchipping, thousands of dogs have been reunited with their owners and the number of stray dogs is now at a record low.
"It is excellent to see that so many owners have taken action to get their dogs chipped - a painless process for dogs which many charities will carry out for free.
"However, still too many are not being reunited where owners have not updated their details when they move home or get a new phone number - heart-breaking for the owner, and easily avoidable with a five-minute phone call.
"All dog owners have a responsibility to microchip their dog and it's very encouraging to see such a strong take-up. Now owners must make sure this effort does not go to waste and check their dog's chip is up to date."
Alex Jackson, Head of Campaigns at Dogs Trust added: "Whilst we will continue to work hard to make sure the remaining 5 per cent of dog owners get their dog chipped, we are pleased that the law is working well across the UK.
"A good proportion of local councils are issuing notices to people who have not microchipped their dogs or updated their details, so we hope to see the total number of people complying with the law increase significantly over the next few years."
Owners can update their information easily online or over the phone, and advice on updating details can be found on the Government website here.