Pet Move FAQs

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posted by SandyM

If your pet is traveling soon, there’s a good chance you’re considering how to implant a
microchip for identification.
According to studies, the microchip offers the best chance of finding a lost pet, especially if the pet is not wearing a collar and tag. AVMA estimates that dogs with a microchip are reunited with their owners about 52% of the time, but those without chips are reunited far less frequently. Other countries will require a microchip upon arrival (our pet relocation counselors will inquire about the microchip as part of your pet’s profile information).
It’s best to have your vet implant the microchip to ensure it’s properly placed for future scanning. The microchip is smaller than a grain of rice and bio-compatible. A scanner that passes over the pet for 10-20 seconds will send a radio signal to the chip and the chip number will appear. The person who is reading the chip number can then reach out to a registry to find the owner connected with the number. A microchip is not a GPS tracker and will not transmit information on a pet’s location. If your pet will travel outside of the United States, request that your vet implant a 15-digit chip that meets the standards of the International Standards Organization(ISO). This type of microchip can be scanned at the radio frequency used internationally (134.2kHz).


  • After implantation, be sure to register your cat or dog with the microchip manufacturer. There is no one universal database that every shelter or organization uses, although the American Microchip Advisory Council is working to create a streamlined database to simplify the registration process.
  • Many organizations access the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool. This is not a registry that contains owner information, but it is an internet application that is widely used to identify those registries on which a particular chip is registered (or it will provide information on the chip’s manufacturer).
  • Some pet owners turn to pet recovery registries to assist them or to ensure their pet’s contact information appears on multiple registries. There may be fees associated with these registries, either with initial registration or when providing updates to your contact information.
  • Always keep your registration current with any changes in contact information.
  • Ask your vet to scan the microchip at least once per year to make sure it’s functioning well.
    Whenever your family is traveling, keep a current picture of your pet with you.
  • Be sure your pet is always wearing a collar with an ID tag that lists contact details.
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