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 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 However, if there’s no information or something is out of date, that’s okay.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

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 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!