August 15: National Check the Chip Day

CheckChipNo matter how careful we are, sometimes our pets get lost. And because they can’t tell people their address, the easiest way to get them back is to make sure they have ID. Tags are the traditional way to let people know who your pet belongs to, but it’s not enough. Collars can come off. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, you can have a microchip implanted under your pet’s skin.

National Check the Chip Day was created by The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). The purpose of National Check the Chip Day, as you can tell by its name, is to give people a yearly reminder to make sure their pet’s microchip record is up to date. It’s also a little nudge to those who haven’t yet had their pets microchipped.

How do you update your pet’s microchip record? First you need to go to the website of your pet’s microchip provider. The easiest way to find that, if you don’t remember, is to search for your pet’s microchip ID number using a website called the Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool. Once you’ve navigated to the website of your pet’s microchip provider, just log in and check your info and your pet’s info. That’s if you’ve already created an account and remember your username and password. But if you’re like me, and you created an account but forgot the username and password, and also never registered your pet with your account, it can be a bit of a hassle. But thanks to my extremely well-organized wife, who saved Barnaby’s microchip enrollment letter, I finally got logged in and registered Barnaby with my account.

According to a great infographic at the AVMA website, microchipped dogs are twice as likely to be returned to their owners, and cats are twenty times as likely to be returned. But when a microchipped pet can’t be returned to its owner, it’s usually due to missing or inaccurate information in the microchip registry. That’s why National Check the Chip Day is so important. As a result of writing this article, I discovered that I hadn’t registered Barnaby with my account on his microchip provider’s website. Fortunately, my vet had enrolled Barnaby in the microchip registry when they implanted his microchip, and they included their contact info in his record; so he’d gotten lost any time in the last five years, they would have been contacted and then they would have contacted me, and I’d have gotten him back. But were it not for the diligence of my vet, my own negligence would have resulted in Barnaby’s microchip being worthless. So please take advantage of National Check the Chip Day to check your pet’s microchip records and correct any problems you find. It just may be the difference between a quick reunion and never seeing your pet again.

Editor’s Note: Thanks to my husband, Andy Frederick, for writing this post for me!

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