You know that microchipping your pet is an excellent way to help ensure that your pet will return home safely, should it ever go missing. However, implanting a microchip does nothing if your contact information is not registered. When your pet’s microchip is scanned, that unique number has to retrieve your contact information in order for you to get a call telling you to come pick up your pet. Unfortunately, there are multiple databases currently holding this contact information. Fortunately, it is not difficult to register with them.
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Things you need
- Your pet’s microchip ID number
Examine the documentation that came with your pet’s microchip when it was implanted at the vet's. There are many microchip companies in the United States, and each one has proprietary microchips. Some companies require that only their microchips can be registered in their system. Other companies will accept registration of any microchipped pet. It is best to stick with the company that provided your pet’s microchip in the first place.
Phone the number listed on the documentation that came with your pet’s microchip. Ask what is involved with signup. Most times, a subscription fee will be required for membership. Alternately, you could visit the company’s website to find out this information.
Register your information with the company via phone or online. Be prepared to provide your pet’s microchip ID number, as well as personal contact information about yourself.
Tips and warnings
- The American Microchip Advisory Council for Animals (AMACA) has been working to create a single hotline that people can call when pets are lost or found. Because microchipped pet information is kept in multiple databases, it can create a significant difficulty in tracking down the database in which a pet is registered. As of February 2010, the AMACA is still laying the groundwork for creating a single call centre that can trace pet microchips in both databases nationwide.
- When your pet goes missing, because there are so many companies offering microchip services at present, it may take some time for authorities to find out in which database your pet is registered. Be proactive and start calling your local authorities as soon as you realise your pet is missing. Call your local and county shelters and police. Also call any local veterinarians or kennels in the area. Some of these places have special agreements with Animal Control and local pet rescues and may temporarily be holding your pet while authorities try to track its owner. Registering your pet’s microchip in a database does not guarantee that your pet will find its own way home. You can help make it more likely by doing some of the work yourself.
- If you will be doing a lot of international travelling with your pet, you might want to check into installing a microchip that will be recognised worldwide. Many microchip companies only work within the United States. As of February 2010, Avid is the only pet microchipping company that operates worldwide.
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