Pet ownership comes with a lot of variables: shifting your life to include regular walks and spending time with them to bond, purchasing the best food for your job, vet visits, a bed, and other accessories. Being a pet owner also can entail a lot of responsibility, especially that of keeping up with your pet so they don’t get lost.

If you’re getting a microchip for your pet, be sure you’re keeping your information safe.

Check to make sure your info isn’t public

At the beginning of the microchip process, right after installation, is an opt-in to a registry to load the owner’s information. This information can include details such as first and last name, date of birth, address and phone number.

To ensure that you don’t become a victim of identity theft, it’s a good idea to make sure your personal information isn’t already accessible. Google your name and phone number to see if it comes up on any websites. If it is, get on the phone and ask for it to be removed.

Ensure the microchip database is legitimate

Opting into a microchip registry can feel like a great next step in your journey to safeguarding against a possible lost pet. But it can also be the entryway to lots of scams and fraud. Double-check to make sure the registry you are using is legit by searching online for reviews or even asking fellow pet owners for recommendations. If the registry has sent you an email or any other correspondence, don’t give out any personal or sensitive information.

Routinely look at your credit score

Another safeguarding tip is, if you aren’t already, to routinely monitor your credit score. Because when you opt into microchipping there is a fee to be added to the registry, your credit card information could possibly be compromised. Through routine monitoring, you can zero in if some fraud has happened or if there has been a data breach.

Trust your gut

Like the storied saying goes, if all else fails, trust your gut. If anything about the microchipping process, from getting it installed on your furry friend’s fur or opting into the registry should your pet get lost, feels off — know that’s a firm source of wisdom. Take heed to whatever doesn’t feel right and make a plan to choosing a better option for should your beloved pet get lost.

Author’s Bio:

Emily Parker is a cat mom to 2 black rescue cats, Gus and Louis. When she’s not fawning over her feline friends, she spends her time writing and researching as the resident cat expert at Emily’s work helps hundreds of thousands of cat parents love their kitties better every month. She spends her downtime exploring her neighborhood on foot looking for the newest (cat) cafes.