Lost pets have a better chance at finding their way home, thanks to the Check the Chip Day campaign.
Sponsored by American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the yearly initiative is designed to remind pet owners of the importance of properly registering and updating microchips to help locate lost pets. Check the Chip Day is recognized on Aug. 15.
Embedding chips has become increasingly popular and nearly as common as traditional ID tags to help find lost animals and reunite them with their owners; however, they can be useless when not registered properly and updated with the owners’ current information.
“Every week we come across stories about pets being reunited with their families after going missing for months, even years, all thanks to their microchips,” says John de Jong, DVM, president of the AVMA.
“But even with microchips, these pets wouldn’t have made it back home if those chips weren’t registered or contained outdated information. Check the Chip Day is a great reminder to not only make sure your pet is microchipped, but to ensure those chips are registered and updated with your current contact information.”
Once embedded under the skin using a hypodermic needle, contact information for the pet’s owner is registered to the microchip’s serial number in a service database that veterinary staff and owners can use to locate an animal, should they go astray. Microchips can be implanted during a routine veterinary office visit and do not require surgery or anesthesia.
To help reunite clients with their pets, AAHA developed the Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool, which is a free, web-based resource that can assist with microchip identification. The tool checks registries of participating pet recovery services to determine with which registry the chip is registered.
The tool can be used by pet owners and veterinarians alike, although pet owners are unable to update their chip’s contact information through the website and must contact the pet recovery service with which their chip is registered in order to do so.
To further educate clients about microchipping and the importance of keeping chip registration current, the AVMA has put together a Check the Chip Day Toolkit, which includes a broad range of materials to promote and prepare for the day.
The toolkit provides the following resources:
- A client handout to help owners keep track of their pet’s microchip information and know when the chip registry was last checked
- Suggestions for stress-free ways to observe Check the Chip Day and for sharing information with clients
- Ready-to-use social media posts and images
- A full-size version of the microchipping infographic, which can be used on a website or social media
- A newsletter article for email or print
- A sample proclamation that can be personalized for use by the local or state government
- A customizable press release to allow clinics and doctors get the word out to local media
For more information on Check the Chip Day, as well as links to additional resources on microchips, visit AVMA’s Check the Chip Day web page.