Microchipping, Pet Care Basics
Why Should I Microchip My Dog, Cat and Other Pets
November 29, 2022
Why Should I Microchip My Dog, Cat and Other Pets
Last updated: August 2, 2016
Every year, pets are lost – and without identification, 90 percent of them are never returned to their owners. Proper and permanent identification is the only way to ensure the return of a lost dog or cat to the rightful owner. While collars and ID tags are a good start, they can easily be removed, or the pet can get away from its owner when it is not wearing a collar.
What are Microchips?
A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. It only takes seconds to inject, safely and permanently, under your pet's skin. Microchips can be injected in cats, dogs, horses, birds, exotic animals and fish. Once implanted, the microchip remains inactive until read with a scanner.
When scanning for a microchip, the scanner will send a low frequency radio signal to the chip, providing the power needed for the microchip to send its unique code back to the scanner and positively identify the animal. The ID number is stored permanently inside the animal, under the skin, where it cannot be lost. The microchip ID number will be scanned and traced through a computer database, and your pet will be returned to you.
Microchips provide a permanent, non-alterable way of identifying pets, without disturbing the animal's coat or appearance in any way. Plus, a microchip will last a lifetime.
Different Types of Microchips
Microchip ID Systems – Offers ISO compliant microchips and a lifetime warranty. In addition, Microchip ID microchips are administered using a stainless steel, slim and sharp 15 gauge 'mini' needle which helps make injection easier on dogs, cats and other pets, no matter the animal's size.
HomeAgain – Each chip is individually packaged with paperwork. If your pet goes missing, HomeAgain will send out Lost Pets Alerts to members of their Pet Recovery Network within a 25-mile radius from where your pet went missing.
AKC Reunite – These microchips have a patented implantation process. These microchips also have an enrollment fee per chip or you can get chips with the prepaid forms.
AVID – Avid offers two ways to transfer registration to a new owner: Prepaid registration and PETtrac™ registration. The PETtrac Recovery Network is the world's largest and longest operating microchip-based, pet recovery service.
Datamars ID – Each chip contains a unique 15-digit identification code and a disposable one-way implanter for easy and painless implantation.
Non-ISO vs. ISO Microchips
Selecting the right microchip and scanner can be tricky. Here are some guidelines to help you choose the best microchips and scanners for your pets.
ISO stands for International Standards Organization, which means microchips labeled ISO are consistent worldwide. Scanners work by reading the frequency of the chip. The ISO frequency is 134.2 kHz. The Non-ISO frequency is 125 kHz or 128 kHz. Universal scanners detect all frequencies and both ISO and Non-ISO microchips. Scanners that are not labeled as universal may not be able to read all chips.
So, for example, if a dog microchipped in the United States has an ISO standard microchip, then travels to another country and becomes lost, the ISO standard scanners in the dog's new location would be able to read the dog's microchip. If the dog was implanted with a non-ISO microchip and the microchip scanner used was not ISO or universal, the dog's microchip might not be detected or be read by the scanner.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), pets can be implanted with both ISO and Non-ISO chips. The two different frequencies will not interfere with each other. If your pet does have two chips, make sure to keep the database information updated for each microchip.
How to Register a Microchip
Sometimes new owners forget to send in the registration, so the animal is tracked back to the person who implanted the chip – usually the breeder or Pet Store. The seller has to go through their records to determine which animal received that chip number and who purchased the animal. This can be a frustrating, time-consuming chore. Prepaid registration cards can prevent this from happening.
Prepaid registration cards set up the direct registration to the new owner at the time of sale. The breeder purchases the cards and when an animal is sold, the card is filled out with the new owner's information. The breeder collects the registration fee and sends in the card to transfer the registration to the new owner. This way, when a lost pet is scanned, the new owner will be contacted directly to claim their animal.
Whichever method is used for the registration, it is an important step to ensure the return of the animal to the proper owner. Time is critical to an animal waiting in a shelter. Make sure to annually update your most recent contact information on your pet's registration information.
How to Use Microchip to Find Cat or Dog
- Insert a microchip.
- Register the animal.
- Animal is found by third party.
- Recovery Program is contacted to determine owner's name and phone number.
- You are contacted immediately and plans are made for you to bring your pet home.
Microchips are accepted by the AKC, Canadian Kennel Club, UKC, and the USDA. A microchip is a simple, safe and cost-effective way to protect your pet's well-being. By providing them with this permanent identification, you can help ensure their timely return to you if they ever become lost.
If you have more questions on how to use microchips, call us at 800.786.4751.
-The Revival Education Team