To advertise a dog for sale it has to be microchipped and that microchip has to be on one of the four Irish database (IKC, ICC, Fido, Animark). All of these databases share registration information with EuroPetNet.com which is designed to help reunite lost pets around Europe. Having your pet on one of the four databases is a legal requirement and they are the only registries dog wardens, Gardai, animal shelters, etc. will look up if they find your dog.
About the microchip numbers
ISO-11784 and ISO-11785 standards stipulate a number of things, from the size of the chip, to the coating, to the type of information that can be read. These standards stipulate that microchip identity numbers are 15 digits. Microchip numbers are not allowed to contain letters or special characters. In some rare cases your dogs microchip number might have 14 digits, and there is a mechanism to get a non-ISO standard chip into an I&R database, but these are the exception rather than the rule.
As a rough rule of thumb, the majority of Irish chips start 972, 981, 987 or 991. There is an ISO standard that uses the ISO country code, for Ireland it would be 353, generally we don’t see so many of these. Here is a list of some other country codes, some countries stipulate that they have to use the country code chip numbers
- 528 tend to be from Slovakia
- 191 tend to be from Croatia
- 642 tend to be from Romania
Note: these numbers will only denote where the dog was first implanted, and possibly registered. See below for links to search some of the EU national databases
Other important points about microchips
Often we see people saying they have a Fido or Animark microchip, the microchips are not directly associated with the registry, rather they are registered with a certain registry. It is possible to register your pet on multiple registries, but do remember to keep all registration information up to date. In the event that your pet dies, it’s also possible to remove your pets details from the registry.
There are a number of unofficial microchip registries in Ireland. This includes the EABKC (European All Breed Kennel Club www.eabkc.ie ) & IBKC (Irelands Bully Kennel Club – no longer active) registries. While you can register with these organisations, you will also need to have your dog registered with the four approved databases (IKC, ICC, Fido, Animark) at the same time.
Imported dogs and microchips
Imported dogs need to have a Pet Passport to enter the country and have the microchips registered on one of the Irish databases within 21 days. There are also requirements about age and vaccinations before a dog can be brought into Ireland. See more about importing dogs into Ireland.
Registration status lookup
Most registered microchips will show up directly on EuroPetNet.com, in some cases there can be a delay in syncing data from the registry to EuroPetNet. It will generally be processed by the registry first and there is a delay of a few minutes to a day before that data can be seen on EuroPetNet. It is possible to do a direct lookup, which may have the data sooner that EuroPetNet has it.
Direct lookup of Irish microchipsIn Ireland you can also check directly with 3 of the 4 the databases too
- Fido Chip Check – https://www.fido.ie/p/information
- Animark Chip Check – https://www.animark.ie/chip-search
- MicrodogID Chip Check – https://microdogid.ie/DogIdentificationEnquiry/
The IKC does not provide a lookup service themselves (as of August 2023).
There are two main aggregators that allow you to look up multiple databases at the same time.
- www.europetnet.com – has data from the 4 approved Irish microchip registry and approximately 32 other European Databases. It’s a legal requirement for the Irish databases to syndicate their data with EuroPetNet.
- www.petmaxx – has information from 1 Irish database (Animark) and 31 European and American databases
Checking international chips
In Ireland there has been a discussion about adding a central microchip lookup tool, but as of August 2023, this is still not fully finalised nor implemented. Some country registries do provide direct lookup tools :