The Dangers of Halloween Candy for Pets

It’s that time of year again! Autumn is here, and the pumpkins are plentiful. Shopping for outrageous pet costumes has begun. Grocery stores have whole aisles filled with Halloween candy and decor. While Halloween is a fun and exciting time for families, our pets can be left at risk for stress, getting lost, and eating things that are bad for them. We want to help you avoid unwelcome scares this Halloween. Be sure you protect your cat or dog with our Halloween safety tips below.

Chocolate

There are some factors that can make eating chocolate a real emergency for your dog. How your dog handles the ingestion of chocolate is affected by what kind of chocolate they ate, how much, their body weight, and physical conditions. 

The key ingredient that adversely affects dogs in chocolate is theobromine. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. If your chihuahua eats a whole box of chocolate bars, it would be a good idea to see a vet immediately. On the other hand, if your Saint Bernard scarfs down a mini-sized crackle bar, your dog likely won’t show any adverse reactions. Use common sense when deciding if you should seek a veterinarian’s help for your dog’s safety this Halloween. 

Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is used in many hard candies, gum, and mints. It is perfectly safe for humans to eat, but is fatal even in small quantities for dogs. Every year, hundreds of dogs die from ingesting foods made with Xylitol. For your dog’s safety this Halloween, take all steps necessary to keep candy, gum, and human treats out of the reach of your pets at all times.

Raisins

We don’t understand it, either: some households give out raisins to kids for treats. While not the most exciting Halloween treat, there are significant risks in this unassuming “nature’s candy”, especially when considering the chocolate-covered versions. Raisins and grapes can lead to acute kidney failure if enough are ingested. It is best for Halloween safety if your dog doesn’t come into contact with them. 

Candy with Wrappers

The most popular candies and chocolates for trick-or-treaters are the fun-sized versions of classic candy. When your dog comes across these, they have no way to remove the wrapper and can scarf the entire treat and package down whole. While it is possible that the wrappers can pass through the digestive system and not cause problems, there is also the chance that the plastic or foil can become lodged in the intestines or cause a complete block of the digestive system. 

Decorations

Popular Halloween decorations can include items that are tempting for your pet to eat, like fake spider webs, pumpkins, gourds, and Indian corn. These foreign objects can also cause blocks in the intestines and create serious problems. Keep them out of reach or separate your dog from them when you leave the house.

Have a fun and safe Halloween with your dog this year! Visit the Michelson Found Animals Foundation’s Adopt & Shop to find your pet a cute costume, adopt a pet, or donate today.


The 7 Best Dog-Friendly Bars and Breweries in Los Angeles

It’s time for Oktoberfest! And that means cooler weather, tons of good food and oodles of BEER! So where’s a good place in Los Angeles to grab a drink with your dog? After all, the only thing better than going out for a beer, is going out for a beer with your furry best friend. Here are seven of the best dog-friendly bars and breweries in Los Angeles.

The Morrison

The Morrison is located in Atwater Village. This pub only has a narrow patio, but what sets this bar apart from the rest of our favorite dog-friendly bars is how they treat their doggy guests. The Morrison boasts a Doggy Menu with $6 dishes specially prepared for our canine friends. Selections include simple hamburger with rice and chicken with rice. Plus, each pooch also gets their own water bowl to sip from while you enjoy your beer. They’ll even get some Milkbones!

6th & La Brea Brewery & Restaurant

6th & La Brea is smack in the middle of Los Angeles and is perfect for a good time. While there are plenty of places to go and simply chill out with a drink, this place offers a bit more than that. 6th & La Brea has lawn games so you can get up off your butt and enjoy a little competition with your friends. This brewery also offers a pub menu and award-winning house beers.

The Idle Hour

Located in North Hollywood, The Idle Hour is another great place to spend… well… an idle hour! This bar is part of the 1933 Group of themed bars. It was restored and reopened in 2015 and offers a barrel-shaped taproom along with it’s dog-friendly patio. Human patrons will love snapping pics of their pooch by the giant pipe-smoking bulldog statue on the patio. They’ll also get a kick out of The Idle Hour’s selection of beer, cocktails and beer and shot combinations.

Angel City Brewery

Another must on your list of dog-friendly bars for you and your pup is Angel City Brewery. This local favorite offers pints, flights, special events and tours. And if you’re hungry, you’re free to bring in food from local restaurants. The brewery’s parking lot also usually has a food truck or two to choose from.

The Eveleigh

This spot is located off the Sunset Strip. And forget rock-hard concrete or tile. The Eveleigh has a patio that is pure Nirvana for pups and covered in astroturf! Your dogs will love running around and rolling on the stuff. Meanwhile, you can enjoy sipping your drink. This place has an excellent cocktail menu, including lemonade with tequila and a bottled gin and tonic. 

The Fat Dog

Head to this dog-themed gastropub for bowls of water and treats for your four-legged bestie. The Fat Dog has two locations for you to choose from in Fairfax and North Hollywood. They offer dog-friendly patios, as well as beer and yummy pub grub for humans. The Fat Dog does a delicious brunch on weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We also recommend you try the risotto. It’s delish!

Golden Road Brewing

Golden Road Brewing is last, but not least, on our list of dog-friendly bars and breweries in Los Angeles. This great spot features a pooch-friendly “doggie deck,” complete with umbrellas, water bowls and fake grass. They even have dog biscuits available for purchase. 

What’s your favorite dog-friendly bar or brewery in Los Angeles? Let us know on Facebook!

Are You Ready for California Wildfires?

Every year it seems California wildfires get worse. Are you ready? Do you have an evacuation plan? Do you know what to do before, during and after a wildfire? Here’s your guide on what to do in the event of a California wildfire.

How to Prepare for California Wildfires

Take these precautions 30 feet from your home:

  • Decorate with non-flammable materials if possible.
  • Remove combustible pine needles, leaves and other materials.
  • Remove flammable patio furniture from your yard and place it in storage.
  • Cut back tree limbs that are 15 feet in height or lower.
  • Get a garden hose that can reach all areas of your home and yard.
  • Designate wells, swimming pools, fire hydrants and other water sources and determine that they are accessible by the fire department.

Take these precautions 100 to 30 feet from your home:

  • Cut back tree limbs that are 8 feet in height or lower.
  • Make “fuel breaks” around your property with driveways or gravel paths.
  • Cut back other flammable vegetation, such as vines.

Take these precautions 200 to 100 feet from your home:

  • Remove the last of any flammable vegetation.
  • If you plant any trees, do it so that they are spaced far apart so that their branches don’t touch.
  • Stack your firewood.

Follow these tips inside your home:

  • Consider installing fire sprinklers.
  • Use Class A roofing material on your home.
  • Place smoke alarms in every zone of your home and near all the bedrooms.
  • Test all your smoke alarms each month and replace the batteries each year.

Lastly, you want to create an evacuation plan and familiarize everyone in your home with it. Wherever you evacuate to needs to be pet-friendly; keep in mind that many hotels and shelters are not! Be sure to also microchip your pet. You can do this at Adopt & Shop at our Microchip Mondays for $10! You also need to create an emergency kit for yourself and your pet. Collect the following (many of these supplies are available at Adopt & Shop!):

  • Human supplies (food, radio, flashlight, etc.)
  • Water
  • Pet food
  • Pet food and water bowls
  • Pet treats
  • Poop bags or litter and a litter box
  • Pet bed and blanket
  • Pet medical records
  • Pet medications
  • Collar, harness and leash
  • Pet toys
  • Pet carrier

What to Do During a California Wildfire

Here’s what to do during California wildfires:

  • If you are near a California wildfire, tune into emergency channels.
  • Evacuate as soon as it is recommended that you do so.
  • Store your emergency kit somewhere close by so you can make a hasty exit.
  • Always bring your pets with you (click here to read about what to do if you need to leave them behind)! Make sure they are wearing a collar and ID tag.
  • Switch on all of your lights.
  • Turn off your gas.
  • Place furniture in the center of every room.
  • Take down all curtains.
  • Shut your windows and doors.

If you evacuate in your car, remain calm. Close your car windows and air vents. Then switch on the headlights and keep the doors unlocked. This will make you more easily accessible in case you need rescuing.

What to Do After a California Wildfire

After California wildfires, it’s imperative that you stay away from your home until officials confirm that it is safe to return to the area. When you get home, look around your entire property for remaining ash pits, small fires and hot spots. These areas are still hazardous for both you and your pet. Because of this, we recommend keeping your pet on a leash. During this time, your pet will probably be nervous because of the unfamiliar sights and smells. Speak to them in a calm voice and keep them close to you, either on a leash or in a carrier until you confirm your home is 100% safe.

Pet Memorials: How to Celebrate a Past Pet

Pets give us so much love during their very short lifetimes that it only makes sense we want to keep them close in memory after they die. So how can you pay proper tribute to your very best friend after they pass on? There are many options for pet memorials. Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate past pets.

Pet Memorial Service

A simple way to hold a pet memorial is to light a candle and say a few words about the animal. You can invite friends and family — anyone whose life was touched by your pet. Depending on your beliefs, you might want to read a religious text or even a poem. Then folks can take turns scattering your pet’s ashes. There’s no right or wrong way to hold a pet memorial. If you prefer to have the service by yourself, that’s okay too!

Painting

Another way to celebrate the life of a past pet is to commission a painting of them. This way you’ll be reminded of the love you shared every time you walk by whichever wall you choose for the painting. We recommend getting an artist you love to do the painting. If you don’t know any painters, you can always try searching Etsy. That site has a number of different artists who all have their own unique style so you can find the one that best captures your pet’s personality.

Keychain

After a pet passes away, you feel like they’re gone and so you want a piece of them with you always. And what do you never leave the house without? Your keys! Getting a special keychain made up is a great way to always have your pet’s memory close at hand. Every time you turn on your car or unlock your front door, you’ll remember that for a few precious years, you had a relationship with an animal like no other. These keychains can be engraved with your pet’s name, pawprint or portrait. You can also choose to include the dates of your animal’s birth and death.

Stone

For folks who end up burying their pet or scattering their pet’s ashes in their yard, a personalized stone is a popular option for memorializing their loved one. These stones range from looking like gravestones to actual large pebbles that you can hold in the palm of your hand. You can have them customized with your pet’s name, date of birth and death and even a portrait of their face.

Necklace

After holding a pet memorial, some people like to have a special necklace made. This way, their pet can be close to their heart — literally and figuratively. The necklace can have your pet’s name or be personalized with their pawprint on it. Some can even be commissioned to have a photorealistic portrait of your pet.

However you choose to hold a pet memorial or hold your pet’s memory is deeply personal. And while we understand that you are probably experiencing quite a bit of grief, we hope you’ll also remember to celebrate the deep love that you and your pet shared!

7 Things to Do Over Labor Day Weekend With Your Dog in LA

Labor Day Weekend approaches! And that only means one thing: You’re looking for something great to do with your furry best friend. Here are seven things to do over Labor Day Weekend with your dog in LA!

Melrose Trading Post

Looking for some fun in the sun? Head up to Melrose to the Melrose Trading Post and enjoy some good ol’ retail therapy. The Melrose Trading Post is a flea market where you can find unique vintage pieces like nowhere else. You’ll never have to worry about wearing the same dress as your friend to a party! Plus, the Trading Post is dog-friendly. They even feature some doggy visitors each week on their Instagram!

Rosie’s Dog Beach

Labor Day Weekend tends to be a scorcher, making it the perfect time to hit the beach. If your pup is secretly a mermaid, we recommend heading down to Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach. Dogs are allowed off leash between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day. Your pup will love the sand, sun and surf! Poop bags are provided, but we encourage you to bring your own just in case they run out.

Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon is great for pets and their people who are looking to burn some calories while enjoying a great view. Runyon Canyon is arguably LA’s most famous hiking spot and it attracts dogs, celebrities and regular folk alike. While we always recommend unplugging from time to time, you might want to bring your phone. Runyon Canyon is a terrific spot for photos!

Angel City Brewery

Angel City Brewery is the place to go for a pint with your pup. Obviously you shouldn’t give your dog beer, but they are welcome to hang out at Angel City. The Brewery offers pints, flights, tours and special events. If you get the munchies, you are welcome to bring in food from nearby businesses. Angel City’s parking lot also tends to attract a number of yummy food trucks!

Muddy Paw Coffee

Nursing a hangover after a night of drinking and need a caffeine fix? We recommend Muddy Paw Coffee! This place is the perfect spot to fuel up, whether you had a long night or not. Plus, they donate to animal charities for every cup of Joe sold! By going there with your dog, you are saving other dogs in need!

Gracias Madre

Head over to Gracias Madre when you start to feel peckish. This restaurant is the place to go for hearty, organic Mexican food. We’re huge fans of their weekend brunch which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Plus, your pup can come along since their patio is dog-friendly.

The Fat Dog

This pooch-themed spot is in the heart of Fairfax and boasts pub grub and a dog-friendly patio. The Fat Dog also does a weekend brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We recommend you try the risotto!

What are your plans this Labor Day Weekend? Let us know on Facebook!

5 of the Best Dog Toys for 2019

Looking for a cool new toy for your dog? Boy, have we got a list for you! Here are five of the best dog toys for 2019.

Kong

You just can’t beat a Kong. Whether your dog is a casual or heavy chewer, they’ll love this toy. The design is super simple. Kongs are basically a hollow beehive shape that you can stuff with treats. However, what sets Kong apart is that their toys are extra tough. Even the heaviest of chewers won’t be able to bust the extra-durable Kongs. We also love these toys because they come in a variety of sizes and chew strengths so you can find the best one for your pup. Looking for something extra fun? Try the Kong Wobbler toy. Fill it up with tiny treats or even regular kibble and your dog is sure to have a ball.

Outward Hound Hide-a-Squirrel Dog Toy

If your dog goes bananas every time they see a squirrel, then this is the toy for you! This interactive plushie comes with an empty tree trunk and three squirrel squeaky toys. You can stuff the squirrels inside the trunk and your dog can have fun while they root around the trunk trying to find the squirrels. This toy also comes in a range of sizes so you can find the perfect one for your dog.

Trixie Pet Puzzle Toys

It can be tricky finding pet toys that will keep your dog occupied. After all, doggy boredom can lead to all sorts of destructive behaviors, such as chewing, digging, whining and barking. We love Trixie puzzles because they are great mental stimulation for bored dogs. Bust out one of these puzzles whenever you can’t give your pup your full attention. Simply stick some of your pooch’s favorite treats in the puzzle and watch your furry friend go hunting for their snack. These puzzles come in a variety of skill levels so you can find the perfect one to challenge your pup’s IQ.

Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy

In addition to boredom, another problem we sometimes have with our pups is anxiety. If you have a new puppy or dog who is having anxiety problems, we highly recommend the Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy. This toy acts as a stand-in for your dog’s mother and comes with a heartbeat and self-warmer. The steady thump and warming action soothe even the most anxious of sleepers.

Wobble Wag Giggle Ball

Your dog will be absolutely obsessed with this weird — but great — little toy. The Wobble Wag Giggle Ball is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a ball that wobbles and giggles. Yep, you read that right. The ball giggles at you as if you’ve just cracked an insanely funny joke! The sound is a nice change of pace from your everyday squeaker. Plus, the toy has pits in it that make it easy for your dog to pick up in their mouth.

Looking for a new dog toy? We’ve got plenty at Adopt & Shop! We carry Kong and Outward Hound toys, as well as great gadgets from a variety of other brands.

What Should Healthy Dog Poop Look Like?

While it’s not the most pleasant of tasks, one of the best ways to gauge your dog’s health is to take a look at their stool. So the next time you’re out on a walk with your furry best friend, examine their bowel movement. You might be wondering, “What should healthy dog poop look like?” Here’s our guide on how to spot normal dog poop.

The Four Cs of Healthy Dog Poop

Dogs can’t tell us about their symptoms, so one of the best ways to judge if they’re not feeling well is to look at their poop. Think of the “Four Cs” when you’re trying to tell if it’s normal dog poop: color, consistency, coating and contents. Color is the shade of the feces, consistency is the hardness or softness of the poop, coating is a film over the outside of the stool and contents is what is mixed in with the poop. 

Color

Healthy dog poop will be the same brown color as chocolate. Normal dog poop contains bile, which is released by the gallbladder and helps break down your pup’s meal. Bile contains bilirubin which makes poop that specific shade of brown. Your pooch’s stool may slightly vary in color due to small changes in what they eat or drink, but healthy dog poop is always brown. Here are some color changes you might notice if your dog is ill:

  • Red streaks: These streaks of color indicate that your dog might be bleeding in their lower digestive tract. Look for cuts around the anus!
  • Black: This hue generally indicates that your dog is experiencing bleeding in their upper digestive tract.
  • Green: Poop the color of Oscar the Grouch means your pup is probably eating grass.
  • Yellow or grey: These colors are signs of trouble in your dog’s pancreas, liver or gallbladder.
  • White spots: White spots or what may look like grains of rice are generally indicators that your pooch has worms.

If you notice any change in the color of your dog’s poop that lasts for over 24 hours, call your veterinarian!

Consistency

Your vet might use a numerical scale, ranging from 1 to 7, to describe the hardness of your dog’s stool. One would be hard-as-rocks pellets and seven would be liquid diarrhea. Healthy dog poop is usually around a two. Your dog’s feces should be shaped kind of like a caterpillar and look segmented and firm. Normal dog poop will feel like Play-Doh when you squeeze it. If your dog’s poop is too hard, this is generally a sign of dehydration whereas liquid poop means your pup’s body isn’t absorbing water the way it should. Contact your vet if you notice changes in dog poop consistency for over 24 hours.

Contents

You would have to dissect your dog’s poop to really get a good look at the contents. We recommend simply having your veterinarian do this for you or you wear a pair of gloves. In general, your pup’s feces shouldn’t contain anything other than poop. Here are some health issues you should look out for:

  • Fur: If you can see fur in your dog’s poop, then that probably means your pup is licking obsessively. This can be a result of several issues, including boredom, allergies, anxiety or skin disease.
  • Worms: Worms in poop will either look long and skinny or like grains of rice. Make sure you’re examining a fresh stool sample as old poop can attract worms outdoors.
  • Objects: There shouldn’t be any foreign objects in your pet’s poop. Look out for grass, shoes or bits of chew toy!

Contact your vet is you suspect there’s something up with the contents of your dog’s stool.

Coating

Healthy dog poop won’t have any kind of slimy coating on it. A good method for judging if your pup is having normal bowel movements, is to examine the grass after you dispose of the poop. Did the stool leave behind any kind of slimy trail? If so, it has a coating. Film like this usually means your dog is suffering from large bowel inflammation. 

Poop problems are nothing to worry about as long as they resolve themselves within 24 hours. Just make sure that your dog is also eating and drinking a normal amount and behaving like their usual self. If the poop issue doesn’t fix itself within a day, it’s time to call your vet. They can diagnose and fix the problem!

Have you ever noticed something was wrong with your dog’s poop? Let us know on Facebook!

Dog Behavior 101

Maybe you’re new to dog ownership and you’re having trouble decoding dog behavior. Or maybe you’ve had your pup for quite some time now, but you can’t seem to figure out just why they’re doing something. This is normal! Dogs aren’t humans and so sometimes their behavior can seem a little weird. Here’s our guide to understanding dog behavior!

Keep in mind that some behaviors can mean multiple things, so you should look for other indicators when decoding dog behavior. For instance, yawning can mean your dog is stressed, but if it’s the end of a long day, it can just mean your dog is simply tired. Context matters!

Tail Wagging

A wagging tail is generally a sign that your dog is happy and open to interaction.

Raised Hackles

Raised hair on your dog’s back doesn’t always mean aggression. In fact, it can also be an indicator of anxiety, excitement or prey drive. Look to the rest of your dog’s body language when decoding dog behavior with raised hackles. Are they growling? Are they hiding? Is their tail wagging?

Scooting

If your pup is dragging their butt along the ground, this could be an indicator that they need their anal glands expressed (you can have our Adopt & Shop groomers do this for you!).

Digging

Dogs dig for a bunch of different reasons:

  • They’re bored
  • It cools them down
  • It’s in their genes
  • To escape
  • They’re chasing something, like a squirrel or rabbit

If you want your dog to stop digging, we first recommend making sure they’re properly exercised. Take your dog on a walk at least once a day and give them plenty of toys to play with.

Smiling and Panting

If your dog is smiling and panting, this can mean they’re happy! It can also mean that they’re hot. This is one of those instances, where context matters in decoding dog behavior, so if it’s warm out, make sure your dog has access to cool air and water.

Scratching

Scratching could mean a few things. Dogs naturally scratch from time to time. It could mean they have an itch or it could mean they’re stressed.

Yawning

Like stated previously, yawning can mean two things: Your dog could be stressed or they could simply be tired.

Biting

Most puppies nip when they’re little and playing. They like to explore the world with their mouths and usually they grow out of it. However, grown dogs usually only bite when they’re scared, anxious or angry.

Exposing Their Belly

Your dog rolling over on their back and exposing their belly is a sign of affection. It’s a submissive move and their way of saying, “I love you!” We highly recommend indulging them when they do this and giving them a good belly rub.

Barking

Barking is your dog’s way of sounding the alarm! Either they sense danger or they’re alerting you to something or someone’s presence.

Chewing

Puppies tend to chew when they’re teething and then they grow out of this dog behavior. If your dog continues to be a heavy chewer, it’s likely that they’re doing it out of anxiety or boredom. You can discourage the behavior by making sure they get plenty of exercise and playtime.

Do you have trouble understanding dog behavior or are you a pro? Let us know on Facebook!

Clear the Shelters With Adopt & Shop August 17

Help us Clear the Shelters on Saturday, August 17. NBC- and Telemundo-owned stations are partnering with hundreds of shelters around the country to adopt out as many pets as possible on that day. The result is a massive, nationwide pet adoption drive that will change the lives of animals! Clear the Shelters Day has helped more than 250,000 animals get adopted since 2015. More than 1,200 shelters and counting have signed up to participate!

Why Adopt During the Summer?

Summer is actually the busiest time of year for shelters and rescues making it perfect for Clear the Shelters Day! Why? One of the top reasons to adopt during the summer is Kitten Season. During the warmer months unaltered female cats go into heat. Many of them, having mated, then get pregnant. Sixty days later, these female cats all give birth to litters of kittens. The kittens have nowhere to go and end up at shelters and rescues just like Adopt & Shop.

This is why shelters and rescues are packed with kittens during the warmer months. These babies need food, medical care and a roof over their heads. One of the best ways to help rescues and shelters during this time is to adopt an animal. When you adopt a kitten or any other type of pet, you save a life. You also free up space in the shelter or rescue so another animal can be saved. Furthermore, the adoption fee you pay goes back to helping rescue more pets.

Another great reason to adopt on Clear the Shelters Day is the 4th of July. You may associate this holiday with family and fun, but unfortunately it’s a tough time for shelters and rescues. In fact, more pets go missing on July 4th than any other day of the year. And where do they end up? They go to a shelter. While some of these pets are happily reunited with their families, many are left unclaimed and need to find new homes. These pets, in addition to summer kittens, put an enormous strain on shelters.

By adopting on Clear the Shelters Day, you are helping to ease the tremendous burden on shelters and rescues during this trying time of year. Summer is our “busy season” and we are eager to match as many wonderful pets with their forever families. Click here to see our current selection of adoptable cats and dogs!

Ask About Our Reduced Fees

Why else should you adopt during the summer? Adoption is extra affordable this time of year! We have reduced adoption fees — call or stop by one of our stores to ask about our adoption promotions. We also are providing all new adopters with a number of great discounts that they can use after bringing home their new family member. These include a FREE day of dog daycare, 15% off an Adopt & Shop purchase, 50% off a Bath & Brush, 30% off a Cut & Style and more. These discounts are available to new adopters who have adopted from any shelter or rescue, so tell your friends. All you need is proof of adoption to get these great savings!

These promotions are only available for new adopters, so Clear the Shelters Day is the perfect time to adopt a cat, kitten, dog or puppy. Click here for the coupons!

How to Check Your Pet’s Microchip

Check the Chip Day is on August 15. This holiday was co-created by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to help remind people to microchip their pets and make sure the microchip is properly registered. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about microchips (no, they’re not a GPS). And registration is necessary for the chip to work. Here are six steps to check a microchip in case you and your pet ever get separated. 

Have a Professional Scan Your Pet

Not sure if your pet has a microchip? No problem. Time to get them scanned by a pet pro. This is painless, free and only takes a second. Simply take your dog or cat to a vet office or animal shelter. We can do this for you at Adopt & Shop! If you’re planning on going somewhere other than Adopt & Shop, call the location beforehand to ask if they use a universal scanner. These devices read all pet microchip frequencies so your chip won’t accidentally get passed over.

Look Up the Chip

If a microchip is detected by the scanner, it will reveal the microchip’s unique number. You then need to check the microchip at petmicrochiplookup.org. This tool will tell you which organization your chip is registered with. Then go to that registry and look up your microchip’s number again. It should reveal your contact information. If that contact information is complete and up to date then you’re in good shape and no further action is required. However, if there’s no information or something is out of date, that’s okay. You can always register your chip or update your registry information for free at found.org.

Implant a Chip If Necessary

If a universal scanner doesn’t pick up the presence of a microchip, then you should ask to have you pet microchipped. We do this for $10 on Microchip Mondays! After the microchipping process, make sure you hold on to a copy of the microchip paperwork. This will contain the microchip’s unique number, which is in many ways like a social security number. Keep it somewhere safe so you know where it is when you need to look it up again.

Register the Chip

Registering your pet microchip is arguably the most important step of all. Microchips aren’t GPS devices. They can’t track your pet’s every move. Instead a pet pro has to scan the chip to get the chip’s unique number so they can look up your contact information. That contact information is only available if your pet microchip is registered. This is why registering your microchip is so crucial when it comes to reuniting with your lost pet. We recommend doing so at found.org since it’s free for the life of your pet.

Update the Registry

You have to always keep your pet microchip registry info up to date. This is so an animal shelter or other Good Samaritan will know how to reach you if they find your lost pet. This is why you need to update your contact information in the registry each time you switch phone numbers or addresses.

Get ID Tags

Pet microchips are the only permanent form of identification, but the easiest way for someone to recognize your lost pet as belonging to you is an identification tag. Because of this, you should always have your pet wear a collar and ID tag. After you purchase the ID tag, have it engraved with your pet’s name and your phone number. We have a variety of collars and ID tags at our stores. We will even engrave them for you on the spot!

And that’s all you need to do to check a microchip!