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How Can I Reconnect a Found Dog with their Family?

You’ve found a lost dog. Now, how do you find her owner? Hopefully she has a microchip, so you’re able to locate her family. If she doesn’t have a microchip, her family may be harder to find but PetKey has ways to help.

Contrary to popular belief, the microchip is not a GPS system. If the dog you have just found has a microchip, it’s easier to find the owner because the microchip carries a unique identification number. The identification number is connected only to the dog’s family. But, the owner can’t track their dog with the microchip. It’s up to you to locate the owner of the dog you have just found so the dog can return home.

Step 1

Bring the dog you have found to your local humane society or veterinarian. Most professional facilities have a scanner so they’re able to scan the microchip to grab the identification number.

Step 2

Once the identification number has been jotted down, you (or the professional) can visit http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/ to obtain the owner’s details.

It’s free to get a dog scanned, so don’t worry about having to pay when you arrive at the facility.

Step 3

If the dog is registered and connected to their owner with a microchip, call the owner and let them know you’ve found their dog. They will be thrilled.

Step 4

It’s the dog owner’s responsibility to keep their contact details up-to-date. But, people get busy and they may forget to update their details with all the chaos in their lives. What if they have moved recently and you have their previous address? Or, they have changed their phone number?

In this case, you can add a FREE listing to PetKey.org’s Lost and Found Pet’s page. You can also search the lost and found database by city, state, or zip code to see if anyone has posted a ‘lost pet.’ If you do find a possible match, jot down the pet’s reference number and contact PetKey at 866-699-3463.

Testimonials from Dog Lovers

PetKey has reunited many pet parents with their beloved dog or cat. Here are some testimonials from a few.

“Someone found her I the middle of the road and called me since she had my info on her Petkey tag. She wasn’t too far from home thankfully!” -Tiffany M., Indiana

“He was taken down to the police station and they scanned his Petkey microchip. Moments later we received a phone call that homer had been found and that the police were on their way to bring him home. 20 minutes later I arrived home from school and dropped everything I had and ran and picked up homer. I am truly blessed and thankful that I am reunited with my little burrito.” -Jamiah O., Mississippi

“We are so thankful to the caring people that called Petkey after reading about our lost dog on Lost and Found Pets of Pierce County. He was found by a neighbor a few blocks away! So happy to have him home.” -Janeen R., Washington

“Tinkie was found in the neighborhood next to the accident site 2 days after the crash. She was spotted by someone who saw one of the many “Lost Dog” Petkey posters that we have put up and was recovered by us shortly after. Thank you everyone for their help.”-Gillian D., Ontario

“A very kind family who had picked her up from the road brought her back to us safe and sound!!! We are SO happy to have our Pancake home! Thank you to everyone who shared our Petkey post and offered support to us!! My husband and I will always be grateful to you all!!”- Katie T., Washington

The Bottom Line

There’s nothing sweeter than reuniting a dog with their family. Even if they have only been missing a short time, families are often panicked while anxiously searching for their beloved pet. Following the above instructions can significantly help you in retrieving the owner’s information and reconnecting a lost pet. If you have any questions, please call us at 866-699-3463. We’re here to help.

What's a Microchip... and Why's it Important?

As dog lovers, of course we want to make sure accidents are prevented. But unfortunately, accidents do happen. Someone might leave a door open. Our dog might dig under the fence in the back yard. Or, she might slip away from us on our daily walk. All these scenarios result in our dog escaping and potentially getting lost.

Same with our cats. Our cats, especially indoor/outdoor cats, could easily get lost and we could never see them again without taking the right precautions.

Now, you might be thinking… “he has his collar with his identification card on so if he gets away at least someone will be able to see his ID tags.” But, what if the collar comes off somehow?

There are up to 8 million dogs and cats who end up in shelters each year. Out of all of these furry family members, only 15-20% of dogs and 2% of cats are reconnected to their families. Once they arrive in the shelter, there’s no way to tell who their family is… or is there?

To protect their pets, many dog and cat lovers are turning to microchips.

A microchip is a very small piece of technology that is implanted into our dog in a manner similar to giving a vaccine.

The microchip is generally placed beneath the surface of your pet’s skin between his shoulder blades. It’s not an extensive process and it only takes a few minutes. And, there’s no anesthetic required.

The microchip gives you that extra protection in the case your dog gets lost. It’s important to understand, the microchip isn’t a GPS device. It won’t let you know your dog’s exact physical location. But, if someone finds your dog, the individual can take your dog to their local veterinarian or humane society where they’re able to scan for a microchip and find your information.

Each microchip is connected to a unique identification code. And, it can be found in a dog’s body using a special scanner that most humane societies, and veterinarians, now have.

When a scanner is placed over the chip, the chip gives off radio waves and the scanner displays the identification number connecting your dog to you. Once your information has been found, your loved furry family member can be returned to you.

With this said, it’s crucial to keep your information up-to-date. You’re able to update your dog or cat’s photograph, weight, and other important details. If you move, you should update the address the moment you do so.

You don’t have to worry about the microchip getting lost in your dog’s body. And, microchips are designed to work for 25 years. So, you can rely on the microchip protecting your dog or cat for his entire life once implanted.

Just to be safe, if you’d like to, you can request your veterinarian scan the microchip during your annual wellness visit to keep your mind at ease.

There’s no better way to show how much microchipping helps you, and your pets, than testimonials. Take a look at a few below:

“Josh has a Petkey microchip and they issued out an alert right away. We are really impressed with this service. You never think about these things until it happens to you and your pet.” -Michelle E., Virginia

“Chewy had a nice adventure. He was picked up and taken to a local rescue and his chipped was scanned. We are glad he is home safe.” -Nicholas R., Florida

To learn more about microchips, browse our website at www.petkey.org.


This week’s Spotlight Pet is Rio!

Rio De Janeiro and his brother Velvet are both tuxedo cats. Here’s what his owner had to say about her little fur babies:
“Rio loves to play outside! He also loves to greet me post-shower. Velvet is a big cat, weighing 18 pounds. He is the King of Knead and Purr. Here they are with Velvet on the left .On the right is Rio De Janeiro name for his wild side and being rescued during the Brazil World Cup Championship.”

That’s so sweet!
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Our Spotlight Pet this week is Bane!


Bane is an orange and white Domestic Shorthair. Here’s what his owner had to say about her little fur baby:
“Mr. Bane likes to greet our neighbors. A month after moving, one asked about him; I hoped he wasn’t bothering them. He told me the night before, a cat came in and they watched the game together for an hour before asking to go. Mr. Bane is the friendliest cat I’ve ever had, which makes Petkey a MUST.”

That’s so sweet!
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Humphrey is out Spotlight Pet this week!


Humphrey is a Pit Bull. Here’s what his owner had to say about her little fur baby:
“Humphrey is quite a ham and very sweet. He’s 60 lbs, but thinks he’s tiny and pushes to climb in your lap. He’s extremely cuddly, but it’s not always easy. He has no concept of personal space! He’s a big ol’ baby and my cuddlebug. I’m so grateful for Petkey and the technology that got him home safe!”

That’s so sweet!
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Bacon Dog Treats

 Does your doggie love bacon? Of course they do and we have a little something you can make for them! This recipe comes from Cooking with Jax and makes about 1 pound of treats.


  • 1 cup broth (beef, chicken, or veggie)
  • 1/3 cup bacon fat
  • ½ cup powdered milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour


Preheat you oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease or line parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Heat broth over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Melt the bacon fat into the broth. Then, add the powdered milk and egg into the broth/fat mixture. Add flour slowly.
Flour your work surface and turn out the dough from the pan. Roll the dough out to ½ inch thickness and cut out shapes. You’re welcome to use cut cookie cutter, but any shape will work.
Place your shapes on the prepped baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes. The biscuits will harden upon cooling. Store in an airtight container and give to your furry friend for a piggy treat.

Moped is our Spotlight Pet of the week!


Moped is a black Domestic Shorthair. Here’s what his owner had to say about her little fur baby:
“Moped, Mo for short, is so happy to be home. She loves long car rides and listening to jazz music. We’re just so relieved that she’s home even though she was immediately grounded when she came back. She has an Instagram and you can follow her grumpy, curious, and fun adventures @atailofonekitty.”

That’s so sweet!
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Doggie Mints

Worried about your dog’s smelly breath for the holidays? Here’s a solution they might just like! This Doggie Breath Mints recipe comes from SkinnyMs and will work wonders before the big holiday get-togethers.


2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1 large egg
¼ cup + 1 tsp water
3 tbs melted coconut oil


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment of get a nonstick baking sheet.
Place oats in a blender or food processor and run until they are a flour-like consistency.
Whisk the parsley, mint, egg, water, and oil together in a bowl. Add the oat flour and stir to combine. Knead the dough slightly and flour your work surface. Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick and cut out 1 inch circles or squares. With 1 inch pieces, you should get 40 pieces.
Place pieces on your baking sheet about ¼ inch from another.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until gold and crispy. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Happy smelling!

This week’s Spotlight Pet is Trevor!


Trevor is a Domestic Shorthair. Here’s what his owner had to say about her little fur baby:
“When Trevor got out, we were so worried that he might be lost to us forever. He loves to play fetch and does it better than any dog I have ever had! We love him so much and are so happy to have him home.”

That’s so sweet!
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Dried Chicken Strips

Looking for a meatier alternative for your dog’s treats? Here’s one from Pretty Fluffy that is nothing but chicken for your meat eater.


1 chicken breast


Place parchment on your baking sheet.
Slice the chicken breast into very thin strips. Then, place them on your prepped baking sheet and put them in a cold oven. Set the heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 1 hour.
Reduce heat to 210 degrees Fahrenheit and slightly open the oven door. Cook for another 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Let strips dry in room temperature overnight and store in an airtight container.

Seems simple; happy snacking!

Our Spotlight Pet this week is Sylar!


Sylar is a Siamese cat. Here’s what his owner had to say about thier little fur baby:
“Sylar was missing for a month. Upon returning, he was surprisingly happy to see us; he’s usually kind of a jerk. He’s even been more affectionate. His hobbies are: knocking books and speakers off my wife’s desk and jumping on tall objects for a good scream. Possibly because the acoustics are better.”

That’s so sweet!
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Peanut Butter Pup-cakes

Want your pup to join in the celebration? Try these Pup-cakes! This recipe comes from Sunny Sweet Days and full of tasty peanut butter.


  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4cup peanut butter
  • ¼ vegetable oil 
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1 cup of a vegetable (ex. carrots)


Preheat you oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with 4 or 6 cups. The leftover batter can be used as frosting depending on how you’d like to sue it.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Blend ingredients together until everything is combined. Pour two heaping tablespoons of batter into each lined cup. Optional for making 4 cakes: set aside leftover batter to use as frosting.
Bake for 15 minutes and let cool completely. If frosting, after they’re cooled would be the time.

Second option: make 6 pup-cakes and frost them (after cooled) with natural peanut butter.

Happy treating!

Fister is our Spotlight Pet this week!


Fister is part Siamese and Domestic Shorthair mix. Here’s what his owner had to say about her little fur baby:
“Fister is an escape artist. He is an indoor guy but wants to be outdoor like his house mate Spooner: a Pitbull. He paws furiously at doors for a way out. He managed to escape this summer. I posted him missing on Petkey and checked the shelter. Thankfully he came home on his own a short time later.”

That’s so sweet!
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Chewy Dried Banana Treats

Looking for a simple and natural treat for your dog? Try these Chewy Dried Banana treats! This recipe comes from Golden Woofs.


Optional: lemon and honey


Preheat oven to 210degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon mat.
Peel and split bananas length-wise. Lay slices on the prepped baking sheet. Optional: brush each slice with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Bake for 1 ½ hours. You can bake them longer, but it will make them crunchy. Optional: drizzle honey over baked banana slices.

Healthy Snacking!

Coconut Pear Dog cookies

Here’s a grain and egg free recipe for dogs with sensitive tummies. It comes from K9 Instinct and is all natural. You’ll need to store the cookies in the refrigerator since there are no preservatives.


½ cup of coconut flour
½ cup of pear puree or pear baby food
1 tbs raw honey
2 tbs unrefined coconut oil
3 tbs water


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Roll the dough into small balls and place them on the prepped baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. Store treats in the refrigerator until your pup is ready for a treat.

Happy Snacking!

Strawberry Dog Treats

Time for another recipe! This one comes from Wild Wild Whisk and is a great natural alternative for your furry friend. Recipe yields about 40 treats and should be stored in an air tight container.


  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbs honey
  • ½ cup freeze dried strawberries
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • Flour as needed for rolling


  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. If oat flour isn’t something usually in your house, you can grind 8 oz of rolled oats in a food processor which will provide roughly 2 cups of coarse flour. 
  • Break up freeze dried strawberries and hand mix them into the oat flour. 
  • Wash and hull the fresh strawberries. Chop 1 cup and puree in a food processor; this will even out to roughly ½ cup. Add the pureed strawberries, egg, and honey, into a bowl and mix until smooth. 
  • Add oat flour and freeze dried strawberry mixture to the dough and mix until incorporated. Slowly add in wheat flour until dough is dry enough to handle. 
  • Flour your work surface and knead your dough. Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut out shapes with your preferred cookie cutters. Place cookies on your prepped baking sheet with a ½ inch between each cookie. 
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, then flip treats upside down and rotate your pan. Bake for another 25-30 minutes.

Henry is our Spotlight Pet this week!


Henry is a Labrador Retriever and Rottweiler mix. Here’s what his owner had to say about her little fur baby:
“Before us, Henry suffered awful abuse that blinded his left eye. He is so compassionate and comforts others when they’re sick or injured. When he was missing, our hearts dropped. After posting Petkey’s missing poster, someone found Henry in the neighbor’s lawn! Now, he’s home safe. Thank you Petkey!.”

That’s so sweet!
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DIY Pumpkin Peanut butter Dog Treats

Looking for an easy, soft treat for your pup? Here’s a recipe for one from Fabulous Indeed. It’s another mold recipe, but you can easily find one with baking supplies at your stores. Recipes yields roughly 40 treats.



  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz. canned pumpkin
  • 3 ½ tbs peanut butter
  • 6 tbs almond flour
  • a pinch of salt


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Fill your mold with the mixture and lightly shake the mold back and forth to let all air bubbles surface.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Happy Snacking!

Our Spotlight Pet this week is Mandy!

Mandy is an #orange #Domestic #Longhair. Here’s what her owner had to say about her little fur baby:
“Mandy is a small, playful, curious, loving cat we adopted after our old Mitchu passed. Mandy is 3 but has the energy of a kitten; she runs around the house, inspects every shelf, closet and space open, plays with her toys and everyone in the house. She’s our baby, and we are so grateful to have her.”

That’s so sweet!
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Personalized Dog bowls

Personalized items are always a fun gift. This one will give your pup their special bowl. This Etsy store does custom bowls for your pup! These are done with clay and have a ceramic bone with their name.
You can find out more and check out their Etsy shop here: http://etsy.me/2iq2c7e