White fluffy dog being scanned for microchip

How to Register Your Dog’s Microchip: A Step-by-Step Guide

Last updated on January 27th, 2024 at 08:21 pm

Registering your dog’s microchip is a crucial step for responsible pet ownership and can be invaluable if your dog ever gets lost. For new pet parents especially, it’s important to understand the process of updating your dog’s microchip details.

Changing the contact information associated with the microchip ensures that you can be promptly contacted if your dog is found. While the idea of updating a microchip might seem daunting, it’s an important step to ensure the safety of your furry friend.

After adopting a dog, it’s imperative to verify whether they have been microchipped and, if so, proceed to update the contact information to your own. Despite having a collar and identification, remember that these can get lost or removed, whereas a microchip provides a permanent identification solution that is significantly more reliable. Learning which company your dog’s microchip is registered with and then updating the information is an integral part of taking care of your new companion.

Key Takeaways

  • Updating your pet’s microchip information with owner’s contact information is an essential step after adoption.
  • A microchip offers a reliable form of identification even if collars are lost.
  • The process to update the chip’s details involves contacting the registering company and may take up to 60 days.
Read more: How to Register Your Dog’s Microchip: A Step-by-Step Guide

What to Know About Microchipping

If you have never registered your dog’s microchip information, you may not know how to do this. I know that I did not have a clue about how to change my recue dogs’ chip information when I adopted them.

After a lot of research, I learned that there is an online resource to help you determine which of the several companies your dog may be registered with. Then it is a matter of calling the company, paying a small fee, demonstrating evidence of adoption, and entering your contact information.

The process can take about 60 days to complete since the prior owner needs to be contacted to confirm the transfer of ownership. Read on to learn more about how to do this.

First, Find the Registration Company for Your Dog’s Microchip

To locate the registration company associated with your dog’s microchip, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain the Microchip Number: If you don’t have it, a local vet can scan your dog to retrieve the number.
  2. Identify the Microchip Company: Microchip numbers sometimes indicate the company. If not, you may need to contact various microchip companies.
  3. Use a Central Database: Visit AAHA’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool to input the number and discover the specific manufacturer and their database.

Helpful Entities for Assistance:

  • Local Shelters: They often have records if you adopted your dog from them.
  • AKC Reunite: If your microchip is registered with this organization, they can assist in identifying the microchip.
  • Humane Organizations: Can sometimes help with identification processes for microchips.
  • Animal Control Officer: In some cases, they can aid in the scanning and identification procedure.
  • Major Pet Retailers: They may have scanning services and information on where to direct you for company identification.


  • Each microchip company maintains its own database, so you must contact the correct one.
  • The chip company is responsible for contacting the previous owner to facilitate the transfer of ownership.

Next, Complete the Microchip Registration Paperwork and Pay the Fee

To update your pet’s microchip registration:

  1. Identify the Specific Microchip Registry: Locate the company that currently manages your pet’s microchip. If you already know your pet’s microchip number, this will be straightforward.
  2. Contact the Registry: Reach out via phone or an internet-based application provided by the registry.
  3. Provide Required Information: You’ll need to submit:
    • Pet’s microchip number
    • Your ID number
    • Your contact details (email address and phone number)
    • Your pet’s information (name, breed, color, etc.)
  4. Pay the Transfer Fee: Most registries impose a nominal registration fee to process the ownership transfer. This is typically around $20 per pet.
  5. Processing Time: The standard review period for updating records can take up to 60 days, but your contact information will be attached to the pet’s record for immediate protection.
  6. Confirmation: Once processed, the registry will notify you, confirming the update in their database. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your pet’s microchip registration reflects accurate ownership and contact details.
  7. Consider Lifetime Options: Some registries offer a lifetime registration option that might include extra services. This could be more cost-effective than an annual fee.

When I adopted my two rescue dogs, they did not have any paperwork other than some vet records that included the microchip number for both dogs. I never received any adoption paperwork, nor did I pay an adoption fee.

Registering My Dogs Microchip Info

I had no idea how to register and change my rescue dogs’ contact infor after I adopted them. So, I spent a lot of time researching to find out. I stumbled across a list of registration companies and called the largest one, AVID.

So, I explained to AVID that my dogs were rescued and adopted out as pups and then returned five years later to the same person who originally rescued them and their Mom. The microchip was implanted when they were returned at five years old. I had no idea who implanted them.

So, I explained all of this to AVID in the event there were any complications. As it turned out they had their microchip ID numbers and directed me to their online registration form to complete. They told me not to worry, and that my name and contact info would go into the record immediately. I think the fee was only $19.95 per dog for the transfer.

Remember, keeping your pet’s microchip details up to date is crucial for their safety and your peace of mind.

What is Microchipping and How Does it Work?

A microchip is a minute chip encased in a tiny glass tube containing a unique identifying number that is inserted under your dog’s skin. The number of the chip is transmitted using radio wave frequencies which can be read with a scanner. This does not require special equipment, batteries, or electricity to be transmitted, and it does not impact your dog in any way.

image of microcchip for dog identification
Closeup of tiny microchips

After insertion, the number of the chip needs to be registered with one of several national registries which will record your name and contact information. See this post at Peventivevet.com for a complete list of national registries. Some of the registries charge a small fee and offer different services. Some nonprofit organizations will register your dog for free.

It is best to give them your street address, work, and home phone numbers–landline and mobile if applicable, and personal and work email addresses. The more information you give them, the faster you can be contacted if your dog becomes lost.

According to the American Kennel Association, one out of three dogs becomes lost during their lifetime. So, this is a great step to take to help keep your dog safe. Dog tags on collars with contact information are great as well, but they are less permanent than a microchip which will stay with your dog permanently.

Who Can Implant the Microchip?

Any veterinarian can implant a microchip, as the process is quick and straightforward. A vet clinic and some larger pet stores with on-site veterinary staff provide microchipping services. Always ensure that the person implanting the microchip is trained and experienced.

Where is it Embedded?

Husky getting a microchip at the vet
Husky getting a microchip inserted at the vet.

A microchip is embedded under your pet’s skin, typically between the shoulder blades. This location is chosen because it minimizes discomfort and is easily accessible for scanning. The size of the chip is comparable to a grain of rice, making it unobtrusive once placed.

Does it Hurt Your Dog?

Inserting a microchip is similar to a routine vaccination, causing minimal discomfort. The device is injected using a needle slightly larger than those used for vaccines. For details on the insertion process, visit this informative guide from VCA Animal Hospitals.

Is a Microchip Permanent?

Microchips are designed to be a permanent form of identification. They do not degrade over time and will remain functional throughout the life of your pet. Universal scanners used by vets and animal shelters can detect the chip and retrieve your pet’s unique identification number, even if the chip has migrated within the body. Keep your contact information up to date with the registry to ensure the microchip serves its intended purpose.

Remember to check and maintain the accuracy of the information linked to your pet’s microchip. In case your pet gets lost or is stolen— which is an increasing issue as dog thefts are on the rise—updated details are crucial for a reunion. Always complement microchipping with a well-fitted collar and visible ID tags.

Make Sure You Change Your Contact Info if You Move

And, dogs being dogs, they will often run off if they get a chance. Your dog may be more anxious after a move, and may try to escape your new home and try to run back to familiar territory. And, some dogs just really like to run and explore, and may be eager to check out their new surroundings.

I had two Beagles years ago who found a way to escape from my backyard after we moved. Luckily, I was able to track them down.

Additionally, make sure your dog is wearing a collar that he likes and is comfortable. You can then attach dog tags with your city license, your dog’s name, and your current contact information. Micro chipping your dog provides additional security should your dog’s tags become detached.

Final Thoughts

Protecting your precious pet with a microchip brings you not just peace of mind, but also a robust safeguard for the unlikely event that your dog goes missing. With just a quick scan, any good Samaritan or shelter can set in motion the happy ending of a lost pet’s safe return.

Why Microchipping Matters:

  • Prevents Permanent Loss: Even in cases of theft, a microchip is a permanent ID that can’t be easily removed.
  • Quick Recovery: Shelters and vets can easily scan the chip, facilitating the lost dog to be united with its owner.
  • Affordable Security: The microchipping process is a low-cost investment for the long-term safety of your pet.

Remember, unlike GPS devices, microchips do not track location but ensure anyone who finds your dog can contact you. Check out my guide Everything You Need to Know About Adopting a Rescue Dog for additional insights on ensuring your newly adopted companion’s safety.

Incorporate microchipping into your pet care routine, and have confidence that your dog has an extra layer of protection. Should the sad situation of a missing pet arise, a registered microchip is often the good news in lost pet recovery stories.

Scroll to Top