How to Transfer Ownership of a Dog With an ID Chip

Written adoption agreements effectively establish legal ownership rights to a dog.
i sign agreement image by PaulPaladin from

If you have recently purchased or adopted a new dog with an ID chip, it is important to ensure that ownership of the dog has been formally transferred to your name so the information linked to his ID chip is accurate and current.

Transfer Ownership of a Dog with an ID Chip

Step 1

Obtain written verification of dog ownership. Whether you purchased your dog from a breeder or a pet shop, or adopted him from a rescue group, animal shelter or private individual, you should receive some type of ownership papers that identify you as the new owner of the dog. Animal vendors and humane organizations alike typically use some type of sale contract or adoption agreement to finalize the sale or adoption of an animal. If your dog did not come with a written agreement, write your own, ask the vendor, rescue group or animal shelter to sign it and keep an original copy for your records. If you adopted your dog from an individual, use a notarized letter of ownership transfer and provide a copy of that letter to your local animal services department.

Step 2

Identify the manufacturer of your dog’s ID chip. If you never received documentation regarding your new dog’s ID chip number and registration information, take your dog to a local veterinarian or animal shelter for assistance with identifying the chip’s information. Most veterinary offices and shelters have universal scanners that can identify the ID chip’s number and information about the manufacturer. Keep a copy of the information for your records.

Step 3

Contact the microchip manufacturer. Provide the chip manufacturer with your contact information so it can be linked to your dog’s ID chip number and you can be easily reunited with your pet if he ever becomes lost. Most microchip manufacturers allow you to update your information online, over the phone or via regular mail. Some manufacturers charge a fee for updating ID chip information so be sure to ask about fees up front.

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.

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