It’s important to make sure every pet gets back home safely, so we’re on a mission to set the record straight by calling #BullChip on common microchip misconceptions.

Does it store your contact information?

A pet microchip only contains one thing — your pet’s unique ID number.

Think of it this way: a pet microchip is like a social security card. Pets don’t have wallets, so they carry their social security card under their skin. Your social security card contains a unique number assigned only to you, and your pet’s microchip contains a unique number assigned only to them. Your social security number is useless unless it corresponds to your name and information in a searchable database. The same is true of your pet’s microchip number.

“Even if your pet is already registered somewhere else, you can still register, and it doesn’t matter what microchip brand you have.”

Is it a GPS?

A microchip isn’t a GPS. It doesn’t transmit signals. It doesn’t do anything except sit in your pet and hold a number. What makes the microchip useful is that it can be “read” by another device — the microchip scanner. When a scanner passes over your pet’s microchip, it detects the number and displays it on a screen so your pet can be identified. That is, if your pet’s microchip number is registered in a searchable database. The only way your pet’s microchip number and information gets into a searchable database is if you put it there.

What’s the database?

Well, if you know your pet’s microchip number, head over to found.org and create a profile. Even if your pet is already registered somewhere else, you can still register, and it doesn’t matter what microchip brand you have. You can add as many pets as you want and update your info at any time for free, so make sure to visit and update whenever you move or change your number.

If you don’t know your pet’s microchip number, head to your vet, a shelter or a rescue, and ask them to scan your pet with a universal scanner (make sure it’s a universal scanner as not all scanners can pick up all chips). Write down the number and then register it.

Now that your pet is protected, make sure to spread the word to your pet-loving friends. The more people know how to separate the facts from the #BullChip, the more pets we can keep safe in their homes.