How to Locate a Pet Microchip

By Staff WriterLast Updated Jun 24, 2020 7:14:31 PM ET
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A microchip is a grain-sized transponder implanted just underneath your pet's skin. Many animal care and control centers microchip dogs put up for adoption, so it's becoming more common for pets to have a microchip. Veterinarian's and online databases can help you locate a pet microchip.

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Animal Care and Control

If you find a lost pet, contact your local animal care and control to see if they have a universal pet chip scanner. Most animal control offices have a universal scanner so that they can get lost dogs back to owners quickly and easily. Depending on your local regulations, they may require that you turn the found animal over to them or they may scan for a microchip and allow you to search for the owner on your own.

Veterinarian Office

Many veterinarian offices will have a universal pet microchip locator. If you find a lost dog or cat, your local veterinarian's office should be willing to scan the animal for free. Some veterinarians may have scanners that only scan certain brands of microchips, so you may have to call around to find a universal scanner. It's important to scan any animal with a universal scanner. These scanners work to locate microchips from a variety of brands and will provide the most accurate information for microchips. The veterinarian's office may be willing to help you locate the owner if the pet is microchipped.

Microchip Lookup Database

Some pet owners will put a collar on their pet that has the microchip number directly on the tag. This is helpful if you find a lost pet and can't get to a local veterinarian or animal control office to scan for a microchip. You can use an animal microchip database to help you find the name, phone number or address of the owner. When you use an online database, the site will search across all registries to try and locate the microchip number. If the pet's information is in the database, you'll get information to help you contact the company with which the microchip is registered. The company will usually handle contacting the owner and helping you reunite pet and owner.

Rescue Shelter

In some cases, local rescue shelters have microchip scanners and will gladly let you use it to scan a found pet. Even if the rescue shelter only has a certain type of scanner, consider scanning the pet just in case the microchip matches the brand for the scanner. You can always look for a universal scanner at another facility.

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Keeping a Microchip Up to Date

It's important that pet owners keep their microchip information up to date. There's nothing worse than finding a microchip in a lost pet only to have outdated information in the registry. If you move or change your phone number, make sure your microchip registry gets updated, as well. This will ensure that your pet is able to find its way home if it ever gets lost and scanned.