Microchips greatly increase the chances that pets will be reunited with their families if they are lost or stolen…but a microchip only works if its registration information is accurate.
To remind pet owners to have their pets microchipped and to keep the registration information up-to-date, AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) joined together to create “Check the Chip Day.”
Benefits of Microchipping:
- Most pet owners buy their dogs and cats collars and add a name tag with the pet’s name and their phone number. These are great, but outdated. They can easily break, fall off, or even the name or phone number can wearoff of the tag over time. The microchip is permanent and can’t be separated from the pet.
- If your dog or cat is lost or stolen, the chip and it’s registration is definitive proof of ownership. This is particularly helpful in the case of stolen pets when ownership might be in dispute.
- A chip greatly increases the likelihood that your pet will be returned to you if they are lost. Several recent studies show that cats with microchips are 20 times more likely to be returned to their owner and chipped dogs are returned 2.5 more than unchipped dogs. That’s a pretty significant difference and with over 10 million pets being lost each year, you want to do everything you can to ensure your pet finds its way back to your home.
- Some chip manufacturers are enhancing the chips capabilities and adding functionality. Innovations we have seen is the ability to program the chip to open your dog door only when your dog approaches. This can be helpful in keeping out stray critters that may find their way into your home. Some manufacturers also offer lost pet alerting services and even travel assistance for folks who like to take their pets along on their holiday.
- Finally, microchips last a lifetime. Once implanted, you don’t have to worry about them, although it is a good idea to have your vet scan your pet each year to guard against any malfunction.
Take advantage of this reminder:
- Make an appointment with Companion Animal Hospital for microchipping if your pet isn’t already microchipped (then make sure that your pet’s chip is immediately registered).
- Check your already-microchipped pet’s registration information in the microchip manufacturer’s database, and make sure it’s up-to-date.
Updating your pet’s microchip registration
To update your pet’s registration, you’ll need your pet’s microchip number. If you haven’t already created an account with the manufacturer, you’ll need to do that as well so you can access the registration in the future to update the information. Make sure that all of the information, particularly your phone number(s) and address, are correct.
There are many databases that allow you to register your pet’s microchip, but the one that really counts – the one that animal shelters and veterinarians will search – is the database maintained by the manufacturer of your pet’s microchip. AAHA’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool is linked to the registries of the majority of microchip manufacturers and allows a quick database search of any microchip made by these manufacturers. In addition, a number of public microchip registries have also been linked to the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool to make it easier to find a microchip’s registration.
Manufacturers and databases that participate in the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool:
Watch video: Meet Max: Why you should microchip your pet
Microchip manufacturers that do not participate in the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool:
Additional resources from AVMA:
Additional resources from AAHA: