Is Your Pet Microchipped? Don’t Forget – It’s the Law!

Microchips are a wonderful tool to help reunite pets with their families in case they get lost (we’ve talked about them before). This is especially important here on the coast given the unpredictability of hurricanes & tropical storms. Don’t forget how many dogs were turned into shelters to be rehomed after Hurricane Harvey simply because there was no way to identify them & reunite them with their families.

As of January 2022, the City of Houston/BARC requires that all dogs & cats over the age of 4 months be vaccinated for rabies AND microchipped. Previously they were only requiring the rabies vaccination. BARC had given everyone a year to comply with the new chip requirement & they have now started to reach out to pet owners that do not have a microchip number registered with the city.

Since we are located in the Houston city limits, our doctors are required by law to submit information to BARC regarding the rabies vaccines that they administer. The information we submit has always listed whether or not the pet has been spayed/neutered & if they have been microchipped.

“The owner or custodian of any dog or cat must register the animal by providing to BARC animal services the identification number of the implanted chip and a physical description of the animal before the animal attains four months of age, for an amount set in the city fee schedule.

It is the duty of the owner or custodian of the animal to ensure that the animal’s implanted microchip identification number is registered with the manufacturer of the microchip in addition to being registered with BARC animal services. If there is a change in contact information for the owner or custodian of the microchipped animal, the owner or custodian shall update the contact information with BARC animal services and the microchip manufacturer within 30 days after the date of the change in contact information.

If there is a change in ownership of a microchipped animal, the initial owner or custodian shall be responsible for notifying BARC animal services and the microchip manufacturer of the change within 30 days after the date of change in ownership. The new owner or custodian shall be responsible for providing BARC animal services with the new owner’s or custodian’s name, address and telephone number within 30 days after the change in ownership.”

To read the full details, click here: City of Houston Code Ordinances, Article IV Dogs and Cats

If you have registered your pet’s rabies vaccination with BARC previously, you can visit their website to ensure that they have your pet’s microchip number listed. Visit & click “Registration” to check your status. You can use this same link to register a new pet online as well.

Not sure if your pet is chipped? No problem!
Bring them by the clinic anytime we’re open & we can scan for a chip. We’ll make sure that the chip is on your pet’s record with us & reprint your pet’s rabies certificate to show this information. We can also look up to see what brand of chip they have & who you need to contact to make sure your information is up to date.

I need to get my pet chipped!
Call us at 281-282-9944 & we can set up an appointment to take care of this for you.

How do I update my information on the chip?
Most of this is done online now, so it’s a lot easier to keep up with. All you need to know is the microchip number & the manufacturer of the chip. With those two things you’ll be able to go to the manufacturer’s site to confirm/update your information.

Some examples: PetLink, 24PetWatch, HomeAgain, AKC Reunite
We use PetLink chips here at TLC Animal Hospital.

If you have your pet’s chip number, but are unsure of the manufacturer, there is a wonderful tool available online called the Universal Microchip Registry Lookup:

This will let you know if a chip number is registered with information on it & will give you the manufacturer’s information. No owner or pet information is listed on this site, it’s just a tool to point you in the right direction to update your info or to help get a pet back home. We use this here in the clinic whenever a lost/found pet comes in, it’s super easy to use & very helpful.

For more information from BARC about this requirement & reasoning behind it, visit

If you have any questions or need more information, let us know & we’re happy to help!

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