Microchipping has become increasingly commonplace in providing an extra layer of identification for companion animals and can make a significant difference in how quickly you are reunited with your furry family member should they become lost. However, are you sure that the registration information stored in a microchip is accurate and up-to-date?
“National Check the Chip Day” was created for just this purpose, and this year it falls on Saturday, August 15. The day is set as a reminder to both ensure your pet is microchipped and also check registration records, enabling officials to bring pets home faster and easier.
First off, what is microchipping? A microchip is a permanent method of electronic identification. The chip itself is very small – about the size of a grain of rice – and is implanted just under the skin between the shoulder blades at the back of your pet’s neck. Each chip has a unique number that is detected using a microchip scanner. The microchip number is recorded on a microchip database registry with details about the animal and owner.
It’s easy to update your pet’s microchip registration and you only need to follow these steps:
- First, make sure you know your pet’s microchip number. This will allow you to update the registration. If you do not have this information available, your veterinary clinic can scan your pet to find the number. Larimer Humane Society can also assist with scanning pets to locate this information.
- Make sure you have an account with the microchip company associated with your pet’s chip. This is the first step in ensuring accurate information is on file and provides you access to update information in the future. If you are unsure of your pet’s microchip company, AAHA’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool can help. This internet-based application is linked to the registries of most major microchip companies and allows a quick search of any microchip made by these manufacturers. Simply enter your pet’s microchip number and the application will generate the name of the company with which it is associated.
- Visit the microchip company’s website annually and input your pet’s chip number to verify or update your information. It is crucial that the correct owner name(s), current address, and phone number(s) are listed. If they aren’t, this could affect how quickly you are reunited with your fur-baby.
- Finally, when you visit your veterinarian for your pet’s annual checkup, ask them to scan for your pet’s microchip to ensure it is still readily locatable. In rare circumstances, the chips may migrate slightly from their original insertion site.
If your pet isn’t microchipped, right now is the perfect time to make it happen. The process only takes a few minutes and your pet can be registered immediately. Your pet’s regular veterinary clinic can assist with this, or Larimer Humane Society can provide this service for you. Your pet will be thankful and you’ll appreciate the peace of mind for you and your family!