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Microchipping and how it works

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

Shiraz the Pug

You have a dog, surely it's as cute as a button. It could be a new family member, or you could have had it for years. Of course, it's microchipped so you don't have to worry.

Or do you?

The world of microchipping is more involved than you think. Take my two dogs for example.

Finn and Luna Shaking off water at the beach

Finn: He came to live with us at the age of 9 months. His previous family couldn't look after him anymore. We got all of his paperwork from them and all looked good. They purchased him from a breeder in NSW. His microchip was registered in the NSW registry and they had it transferred to their name. When we got him, we transferred the details on the CAR (Central Animal Records) website. For a small fee - his ownership details had been changed to us! Yay

Luna: Same litter as Finn. She came to us at the end of July last year. She has a microchip and it is in her previous owners name. It was registered in NSW. For over 7 years, her chip has been registered there but nowhere else. The NSW register does NOT speak to any other register. Her previous owner was told she was microchipped but she was not told that she also had to register that microchip # on any one of the FIVE national registers - so, Luna does not exist on a central database.

This is what I get when I enter her chip details into CAR (Central Animal Records)

So, I entered it into the Pet Address Registry and it comes up like this:

I then called the NSW Companion Animal Registry on 1300 134 460 and was told the following: When a dog is purchased or is chipped in NSW, the microchip is registered on the NSW Pet Registry. This is not a national database.

So, when Luna came down to Victoria, she was marked on their register as being inactive and having moved states. The original owner should have been informed (by the breeder) that she needed to be registered on a national database such as CAR, AAR (Australasian Animal Registry), PetSafe, Home Safe ID or Global Micro Animal Registry.

ALL of these registries talk to each other so you only need to register on one of them.

So, if Luna gets lost here, and her chip is scanned - she does not show on any registers EXCEPT for the NSW one. This is what happens to so many dogs purchased from interstate breeders. That means, yes, you know your dog is chipped - check the registers above and make sure your dog (and cat) is registered on one of the CENTRAL registers.

Just to make it clear, currently there are five private microchip registries and 1 NSW State government registry:

Australasian Animal Registry - AAR

Central Animal Records - CAR


Pet Register


and the NSW State government registry - the NSW Companion Animal Registry

If your animal came from NSW (as mine did) they will have been registered on the NSW Companion Animal Registry. This is the one database that does not 'talk' to the others.

And just to make matters a little more convoluted - if you have a Greyhound, they are on a different register again - the GRV (Greyhound Racing Victoria register)

This issue of the NSW register not 'talking' to the rest of the registers, I believe, would account for many of the dogs that go missing, taking days to be returned, if they get returned to their owners at all. After all, when we move, change addresses, phone numbers, email addresses - do you think to update these details on the appropriate registry?

It is up to us owners to ensure our pet's contact details are up to date. It takes just a few minutes. Don't assume that everything is ok. Check now.

#microchip #microchipping #nationregister #Register #Lostdogs #lostdog #microchipregister

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