You’ve had your pet microchipped and know that if they get lost, there’s a good chance your precious pooch or kitty will end up back home with you. But will they? It’s less likely to happen if their microchip has fallen out, or you’ve moved and not updated your contact information in the microchip registry. (This is the database maintained by the manufacturer of your pet’s microchip.) And what if you’ve forgotten to register the chip with the manufacturer? Well these are all the reasons why we have Check the Chip Day on August 15.

This special day is to remind pet parents to check the chip is still in their pet. And to check the microchip manufacturer’s registry to make sure it contains your contact information – and it’s up-to-date.

To make things easy for you, here are our tips for what to do on Check the Chip Day.

  1. Schedule an appointment with your vet. Have him or her scan your pet to check the microchip is still embedded. If you really want peace of mind, have your vet do the scan every time you take your pet to see them. Or if you always schedule an annual checkup for your pet, get it done then. Otherwise, use Check the Chip Day as a reminder every year. Note: You may be able to have a vet technician do the scan instead of your vet.
  2. Go online to the manufacturer’s microchip registry. Make sure all your contact information is current, especially your phone number. What if you’ve lost the microchip registry information – the name of the manufacturer and microchip number? Ask the place that implanted the chip to provide it to you. This is most likely your vet or the shelter or rescue where you adopted your pet.

Looking Up a Pet on the Microchip Registry

What if you have the microchip number but not the manufacturer? You can try using the American Animal Hospital Association’s microchip lookup registry. This links to the registries of many microchip manufacturers and allows you to do a database search. (Please note though that it doesn’t include all companies; AVID is one that’s missing.) If the number is in their database, it will tell you where your microchip is registered. Once you have this information, go to the manufacturer’s website, log in, and confirm or update your contact details.

Another good reason to check the registry: some charge an annual fee to keep your pet in their database.

Here are some statistics that show the importance of getting your pet microchipped, checking their chip is still in place every year, and keeping their registry details current. According to the American Veterinarian Medical Association, one in three family pets will get lost. Microchipped dogs are more than twice as likely to be returned to their pet parents. Microchipped cats are more than 20 times more likely. And…only about six out of 10 microchips are registered.

Check the Chip Day acts as an important reminder for all pet parents who want to do everything they can to protect their pets and keep them safe. If your pet gets lost they can’t tell anyone where they live – but their microchip will.