Something to Chew On - Spaz

Importance of Registering Your Pet’s Microchip

There seems to be a common misunderstanding that once your pet has a microchip, your job is done, but it is not. Please be sure you register the microchip and make sure you keep the information updated.

One morning while driving to work, I spot a Cairn Terrier. He was wearing a collar, a good sign for finding the owner.  He was the first stray dog I managed to catch without getting out of my car.  What luck, or was it?

His collar had no tag. Off to the vet we go.  Bingo!  He has a microchip.  He will be reunited with his family in no time.  Confidently I leave the vet’s office microchip number in hand with phone numbers of different companies to call.

Several calls later I learn that his chip is not registered with any of the companies provided when the chip was scanned.  Several more calls to companies found online and I learn that chips in the 9000 number series are not associated with any of these companies either.  More research and we find the manufacturer of the chip, but they cannot tell us what company purchased those chips.  There is no central registry for microchips.  Different companies provide chips and the registration process.  If that company goes out of business your pet’s chip registration is lost.

I thought a microchip was a fail safe way of finding your pet and it often does work.  Recently, a friend took in a stray with a microchip and found the family, the dog had been missing for six months. That was one happy reunion.  However microchips are not a guarantee for getting your pet back.   If your pet has a microchip make sure it is registered.  You can register it with the company where it was purchased, as well as free websites such as Found Animals.

Also, keep in mind the chip could dislodge and no longer be where they are inserted at the back of the neck; thus undetectable by the scanner.  Next time you are at the vet, ask them to do a quick scan so you can be assured the chip is there and the registration information is correct.

Obviously identification on the pet’s collar is ideal.  Our dog’s name and a phone number is embroidered on their reflective collars, which I love. No more noisy tags. And for those walks in the dark, it is nice to have the reflective collars.  Collars may come off, so a properly registered microchip is a good back up plan.

We were never able to find the terrier’s family, although we tried everything.  We were able to place him in a great home where he lives happily with collar, tags and a registered microchip.


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