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Microchip standards

All microchips that are implanted must:

  • have a unique number which includes the manufacturer's code
  • meet the relevant ISO standards
  • respond to the relevant transceiver

This makes sure they meet the technical standards.

It's illegal to implant a microchip that doesn't meet technical standards. You can be fined up to £2,500.

Helping dog keepers

You should help dog keepers understand that they need to:

  • get their dog microchipped by the time they're 8 weeks old
  • get their dog's details on a database that meets government standards, including the microchip number
  • update the information on the database if it changes, e.g. if they move house

You're not responsible for reporting dog keepers with dogs that don't have microchips. Local councils are responsible for enforcing the rules not vets.

Stray Dogs

Vets can ask a database for information on a stray dog if it might help return the dog to its keeper.


You can exempt a dog from being microchipped by the time it's 8 weeks if it's medically unfit. It must have:

  • severe illness
  • an infection in the place where it should get microchipped
  • a condition that interferes with blood clotting

You can also exempt the dog if you're worried about it being too small.

A formal exemption

To exempt a dog you must write a certificate for the keeper. This will normally be a letter with:

  • the dog's name and description
  • the name and contact details of the dog keeper
  • the name and address of your veterinary practice
  • the reason why the dog cannot be microchipped
  • how long the exemption will last
  • your name and signature
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