How to Make Sure Your Pet's Microchip Is Registered and Up-to-Date

Lost pets stand a much greater chance of coming home with a microchip.
Lost pets stand a much greater chance of coming home with a microchip. / DjelicS/iStock via Getty Images

One of the best things any pet owner can do for a furry buddy is to have them microchipped. The small, implanted device allows for veterinarians to identify a lost pet’s owner and location. In one 2009 study, lost pets with chips were returned home 74.1 percent of the time.

Unfortunately, some owners may forget about the chip once it’s set. A pet being microchipped is just one step in the process. Owners need to register their information in one (or more) of the pet microchip registries to make sure the microchips contain accurate contact details. If it’s not up to date, you might not get the reunion you’d expect. Here’s how to keep things current.

First, you’ll want to make sure you have the microchip’s number. This can be accomplished by contacting the vet who planted the chip or the rescue or shelter where the animal came from. If you don’t know who implanted the chip, your vet can scan it in the office.

Next, use the number to identify the chip’s type. Put the number into the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Universal Microchip Lookup site. This will tell you which registry the chip belongs to. From there, you can make sure your contact information is current and provide alternative numbers in case you’re traveling or otherwise unreachable.

If it’s not registered at all—a step you might have forgotten when you first adopted your pet—you can take care of it now. There are several registries, but some—like Found Animals—are universal and will log any brand of microchip. To make sure your pet is covered, it’s best to use a universal registry like Found Animals along with the microchip manufacturer’s registry.

If your find your pet isn’t microchipped at all, it would be a good idea to do so. It’s quick, inexpensive, and won’t hurt your pet—a chip the size of a grain of rice is quickly injected between their shoulder blades.

Even with a chip, it’s also a good idea to keep a collar with identifying tags on your pet at all times. A collar may make it more likely for a stranger to approach a lost animal to see if it needs help getting home.

[h/t Preventative Vet]