Lost and hound: UK's missing dog capitals revealed

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The missing dog capitals of the UK revealed

  • New research by MORE TH>N has revealed that Cheshire is the missing dog capital of the UK;
  • Cheshire represents 15% of reported missing dogs in the UK—more than any other region;
  • Derbyshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire make up the rest of the top 5 missing dog areas of Britain;
  • One in 10 dog owners has seen their pet dog go missing in the past;and
  • One in five dog owners has not had their dog micro-chipped (an estimated 1.5 million dogs) despite micro-chipping becoming law on April 6th.

Many dog owners in the UK view their four-legged friends as members of the family and the thought of their pets going missing, even for a short time, is enough to cause great panic and worry. Such a turn of events, however, is sadly a common occurrence in Cheshire—which new research by MORE TH>N shows is the missing dog capital of Great Britain.

The research by MORE TH>N Pet Insurance reveals that Cheshire is home to 15%[1] of all missing dogs reported to the National Missing Pet Register— that’s higher than any other area of the UK. Derbyshire (11%), Berkshire (9%), Buckinghamshire (7%) and Cambridgeshire (7%) make up the remainder of the top five missing pet capitals.

The findings are supported by original research from MORE TH>N with 1,000 dog owners[2], as one in 10 (10%) of those pet owners polled admitted that their dog had gone missing in the past—an estimated 807,000 dogs[3]. While 90% of those dogs were found safe and sound, 10% were never retrieved.

The heartache of a missing dog could be avoided to some extent by ensuring the animal is micro-chipped. Indeed, despite the micro-chipping of dogs becoming compulsory by law from 6th April, almost one in five (18%) dog owners surveyed by MORE TH>N have nevertheless failed to get their dog micro-chipped. 

What’s more, in a somewhat surprising admission, 28% of these dog owners could not be bothered to get their dog micro-chipped, one in four (25%) were unaware of what a micro-chip is, while another 16% did not see the point of one.

This is despite the research by MORE TH>N substantiating the proof that micro-chipping can help return missing pets to their homes—as one in eight (13%) of those dog owners that reported their dogs as missing were reunited with their beloved pet because the police were able to directly identify it through its micro-chip. 

The findings also revealed a widespread ignorance of the new micro-chipping law, with more than a quarter (28%) oblivious to its imminent introduction, over half (52%) unaware that failure to comply with the law carries a potential £500 fine and one in five (19%) under the impression that it is the responsibility of persons other than themselves to micro-chip their dog, such as vets and the police.

George Lewis, head of pet Insurance, MORE TH>N Pet Insurance said:

“We found that dog owners will typically spend around £10,000 pounds on their dogs during the pet’s’ lifetimes. However, many of these people will put-off getting their dogs micro-chipped—despite it being an inexpensive and incredibly quick and simple procedure. Not to mention an effective way of helping police, vets and animal shelters identify a missing dog that is brought to them. We hope that the findings of our research will help raise awareness of the number of dogs that go missing across the UK and encourage owners yet to microchip their dogs to do so as micro-chipping becomes law.”

Dog owners can get their pets micro-chipped at their registered vets, local authorities or at certain animal re-homing charities.


Media enquiries

Notes to Editors

1. According to dogs reported missing to the National Lost and Found Pet Register.

2. Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of MORE TH>N Home Insurance. 1,000 pet owners were polled.

3. According to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association there are an estimated 8.5 million dogs in the UK. 9.5% of 8.5 million is approximately 807,500.

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