Published on: April 16, 2024
Author: Alix Mitchell

The mere thought of losing your pet is every pet parent’s worst nightmare, and experiencing that is an unfortunate reality for many pet owners. According to the Animal Humane Society, approximately 10 million pets go missing each year in the United States1. Fortunately, another study shows that pets that are microchipped have a much higher chance of being reunited with their owners2.

Understanding Your Pet’s Microchip

So, what exactly is a microchip? Microchips are small polymer or glass implant that is placed under your pet’s skin. Microchips use radio-frequency identification (RFID) to transmit a unique identification number when they are scanned with a microchip scanner. Microchips are a form of permanent identification for your pet. Plus, they’re easy to implant (no worse than your pet’s regular vaccines!), and they’re very affordable. 

Microchips are implanted underneath your pet’s skin with a needle and syringe that is only a little bit bigger than what your pet typically receives for a vaccine. While this can be done at any regular vet appointment, you can also choose to have the implantation done while your pet is under anesthesia for another surgical procedure, like a dental or neuter, so they won’t feel a thing! 

The most important part of getting your pet microchipped is ensuring their microchip number is registered in an online national registry database with your personal contact information. Without having your personal contact information registered, someone scanning your pet wouldn’t know how to contact you, and the microchip wouldn’t prove to be useful. 

How to Find Your Pet’s Microchip Number

The first step to ensuring that your pet’s microchip number will be useful in reuniting you is to register it into an online national microchip registry database. Of course, to do this, you’ll need to locate your pet’s microchip number. If you can’t find your pet’s microchip number, there are a few different options. 

Veterinary Records. If you take your pets to the vet to have them microchipped, the veterinary staff will give you stickers with your pet’s microchip number that come inside the packaging. If you’re rescuing a pet who was previously microchipped, look through all of your pet’s previous veterinary records. Microchip numbers are usually listed near the other patient identifying information, like their name and breed. 

Microchip Scanner. If all else fails and you still can’t find the microchip number, you can take your pet to the vet or an animal shelter and ask the staff to scan your pet and write the microchip number down for you. This should be a quick in-and-out stop that is free of charge. 

Contact the Microchip Manufacturer. If you happen to remember the manufacturer of the microchip your pet has, you can research the manufacturer online, find their contact information, and give them a call to see if they can help locate your pet’s microchip number by giving them further information about your pet. At PetLink, we have a large microchip registry and recovery service that could assist you.

Pet Microchip Registry. As we mentioned above, registering your pet in an online pet registry database is the foundation of ensuring your pet’s microchip is useful in reuniting you with your pet. If you remember the registry service you used, you can log in to your account online and find the microchip number in the profile section. Logging into your account should be as easy as entering a username and password or bringing up an old email with that information from when you created your account.

Keeping Microchip Information Up to Date

Keeping your personal information up to date in the online pet microchip registry is incredibly important since that is the only information someone scanning your pet has access to and can contact you with.

Registering your pet’s microchip number in an online registry database is as easy as creating an account using a username and password, just like you would for any other online service. When you create your account, you’ll want to include as much contact information as you can, like your phone number, address, and even a second or third emergency contact phone number – even if those numbers belong to a close friend or family member. The more information you have listed, the higher your chances of being contacted if someone finds your lost pet and takes them to be scanned for a microchip. 

In fact, it’s so important to keep your registry contact information accurate that August 15th is nationally recognized as National Check the Chip Day. While it’s always best to update your information immediately if you get a new phone number or home address, it’s easy for that to slip your mind in the hustle and bustle of life. Having a recurring annual day is a great way to remind you to keep your contact information up-to-date. 

If you can’t remember what database you registered your pet with but know the microchip number, you can search for your pet’s microchip number in an online microchip registry lookup tool found on PetLink. Once you find the registry service your pet is enrolled with, you can log in to your account directly on their website with your username and password. If you have problems logging in, you should be able to contact customer service to help. 

While we do our best to keep our pets safe, sometimes accidents happen. Although keeping an identification tag on your pet’s collar is helpful, tags can fall off or become lost. Microchips serve as a form of permanent identification and can drastically increase your chances of being reunited with your pet. 

If your pet becomes lost, it’s important to know your pet’s microchip number along with identifying features like eye color and unique markings because you can place that information on posters and provide that information to nearby vets and shelters to ask them to be on the lookout. Remember, it’s crucial to keep your personal information up-to-date in the online microchip registry database so that someone scanning your pet has an easy way to contact you immediately, and then you can be reunited with your pet!