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It’s Check the Chip Day, and we want to remind everyone about the importance of ensuring that your pet’s microchip information is up to date. We see microchips with outdated addresses, phone numbers, or ownership details on a weekly basis. That means, of course, that the chip can’t do its job and help quickly reunite a pet with its owner. But it can also create much more complicated issues if ownership of a microchipped animal has changed.
That’s why it’s very important to get proof that you are now the legal owner of an animal if, for example, you adopt a pet from a friend or from someone online. The original owner will need to speak with the microchip company and/or provide you with a bill of sale or signed form so that the chip can be updated with your information, preventing potential legal disputes in the future.
To update microchip information going forward – for example, any time you move or get a new phone number – you will need the chip number and you will also need to create an account with the manufacturer of the chip. From there, it’s often possible to make any updates online. You can find links to the websites of some manufacturers and databases here.
No problem. You can make an appointment with your veterinarian; the process only takes a few seconds and doesn’t require anesthesia. The chip itself is a glass cylinder about the size of a grain of rice and is implanted just under the skin with a needle. It doesn’t hurt your pet any more than a normal vaccination. You will receive paperwork with the chip number and instructions to register the chip. If you adopted a dog, cat, or rabbit from the Idaho Humane Society, your pet is already microchipped!
Microchips transmit identification numbers when activated by the radio waves of handheld scanners, now common in all veterinary clinics and animal shelters. The clinic or shelter can then contact the manufacturer for your contact information to reunite you and your pet.