Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Is your pet's microchip registered??

I'm the owner of 3 basenjis that I adopted through BRAT. The importance of microchip registration, and specifically of UPDATING your dog's microchip registration when your contact information changes, was brought to my attention recently by my vet, and I'd like to share what I learned.  Here is an article that explains it: 

I can't emphasize enough the importance of having your dogs registered with an entity that is likely to be contacted when a lost dog is found.  No one thinks that their dog is going to get loose or become lost, but what if it did?  In the worst-case scenario (which is unfortunately not always unlikely) where a lost dog is found with no collar, tag, or other identification, most shelters will scan the dog to see if there is a microchip implanted.  However, who is the shelter likely to contact once they've scanned the chip?  Most shelters will use the universal microchip lookup database ( to see if the chip is registered with any of the many possible registries, and then if your chip is registered with one of the registries the shelter may contact them to see if they can look up your contact information. But, if you haven't actually registered your pet's microchip ID # with one of these registries, the shelter won't know whom to contact about your dog.  

Currently, BRAT maintains a database of ID tags/info for its adopted dogs, which is connected to BRAT's "Lost Dog" hotline (a free service for all dogs adopted through BRAT that helps connect lost and found basenjis back to their adopted families via the BRAT ID tag the dogs wear on their collar), but this is NOT the same as a microchip registry.  BRAT does NOT maintain any kind of registry matching microchip IDs to owners, so if you get your dog implanted with a microchip, it's entirely up to YOU to register that microchip ID with the microchip registry's own "Lost Dog" service. This is very important! As the article notes, if your dog's microchip is not registered with a service connecting your contact information to the microchip ID, having the microchip in the dog is absolutely useless
Also, if you've moved or changed phone numbers since you registered your dog's microchip or adopted your dog from BRAT, you should contact your dog's microchip registry and/or BRAT to update the database with your new information. A note from BRAT Director Chey Miller:  "We can't stress enough the importance of adopters updating their contact information. I send a letter to each new adopter specifically requesting that they notify us of any changes to the dog's name, their name, their address, and their phone numbers.  Jackie Kuhwarth (the BRAT Director who answers the 24-hour "Lost Dog" hotline) needs accurate information in order to contact the owner of a found BRAT dog.  I maintain the database, but it's up to the adopter to keep us current."

I suspect a lot of owners have a false sense of security thinking "my dog is chipped and in the event it ever gets lost, I'll be contacted."  Unless your microchip registry has your correct contact information, you won't be. 
contributed by:  
Chris Hayes, Kristen Ayres, & the BRAT Board

Here's how to register / update your dog's microchip and BRAT contact info:
Microchip Registry:  If you're not sure if your microchip is registered, try looking it up here:  If it shows that your microchip is not enrolled with one of the major registries, or if your information is out of date, contact your microchip registry service (something like AKC Companion Animal Recovery to make sure that your dog's microchip is registered with your correct information. Note:  There is a nominal cost, usually around $15-20, that the registries charge to initially register your dog's microchip with your contact information, but there is NO cost to update your information if it changes.  Remember -- if your dog ever gets lost, this simple registration process could save his life!!

BRAT Tag Database:  If you've adopted a basenji through BRAT, make sure that your dog is wearing his or her BRAT ID tag at all times.  If your dog is ever lost, your dog may be returned to you if someone who finds your dog calls the BRAT "Lost Dog" hotline on the tag, and your contact information is located in the BRAT Tag Database.  But, in order for this to work, your dog must be wearing the BRAT tag, and your contact information in the database must be correct!  If you've lost your dog's BRAT tag and need to order a replacement tag, you can do so here:  BRAT Replacement Tag Order Form.  If your contact information has changed since you adopted your BRAT, email BRAT director Chey Miller ( to update the database with your dog's name, ID tag #, and new contact information.  


  1. It really is helpful if your pet is microchip equipped. Done here with my pet.

  2. Very important blog topic! I investigated all kinds of chip registries several years ago when one of the original ones went out of business. Many of them charge an annual fee, or charge to update info, or are just not listed with the AAHA petlookup link. I went with AKC because it is cheap, it is a one-time fee, and the AKC isn't going to disappear any time soon.

  3. The microchip implant in your pet is useless if you don't bother to register your contact information with an agency. Each microchip carries a unique identification number, and that identification number matches your name and contact information in a database.