Lost dogs may not find their way back home. One way to prevent lost dogs from winding up in shelters is to microchip your dog. Implanting a microchip, a device the size of a grain of rice, will aid in helping the dog find its way back to its owner.
Microchip your dog through a veterinarian or clinic sponsored by a rescue or shelter. The process of microchipping is noninvasive and only takes a few seconds. The microchip is inserted under the skin between your dog’s shoulder blades by the vet, and must be completed before registering the microchip.
Register your dog’s microchip through an organization, such as the Microchip Registration Center or AVID, which both maintain microchip registries. Complete the appropriate online forms through the organization’s website and submit registration fees. You will need to know your dog’s microchip number to complete the registration. Your vet also may have hard copy forms to provide you for completion.
Call the organization that maintains the registry to register your dog’s microchip by phone. For example, call the Microchip Registration Center at 800-434-2843 and a representative will take your information, including the microchip number, and enter it into a database that is used by veterinarians, animal shelters, and organizations, such as the American Animal Hospital Association and Home Again.
Mail the hard copy forms to the address listed on the application after completing the forms. Once the forms are received, the information will be entered into the appropriate database. You may want to consider registering the microchip in multiple databases if your dog is a potential flight risk.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Ask your vet or local animal shelter for recommended registries, as several exist.
Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.