Check the Chip Day is coming up on August 15th! Many pets are microchipped for identification purposes should the pet become lost. But the chip is only as good as the information that it carries.
A microchip is a tiny computer chip (about the size of a grain of rice) that has a unique number. This number is entered into an international database. Ideally, this number has been registered with the owner’s name and contact information, but it may have been registered with the kennel club, or breeder from which the pet was purchased.
Once a microchip is implanted in your pet, it cannot be lost or damaged (very rarely a microchip will migrate), so it is a permanent method of identification – no tags or collars to fall off.
Unfortunately, if a pet owner changes their phone number, email address, or moves; or the pet is rehomed and contact information is not updated, locating the correct and current owner becomes difficult if a pet is lost. When a shelter or animal hospital attempts to contact the owner, they may receive a disconnected number, or a bounced back email.
It is the pet owner’s responsibility to keep the registry informed of any change in contact phone numbers, address, or email addresses, and to ensure that the chip is registered with the current owner.
Check the Chip Day reminds pet owners to contact their veterinarian and make an appointment to have their pet’s microchip scanned. This ensures that the chip is where it is supposed to be; and allows the pet owner or veterinarian to check if the chip is registered to the correct person.
If the pet owner already knows the microchip number, there is free on-line tool available that allows owners to enter the number and find out which database the microchip is associated with. By visiting the corresponding database website, a pet owner can check the registered contact information and update it if necessary. The website for North American microchip registries is: http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/(in the UK, the website is http://www.check-a-chip.co.uk/ and in Australia, the website is http://www.petaddress.com.au/).
If your pet isn’t already microchipped or you aren’t sure if he/she is microchipped, consider making an appointment with your veterinarian to have a microchip implanted today! Don’t forget to Check the Chip this August 15th!