Microchips and Your Pet

Without identification on them, 90% of pets are never reunited with their owners. Microchip technology for pet identification is the best way to protect your pet with permanent, lifetime identification. Having a microchip implanted in your pet provides an extra level of safety that significantly improves the chances of your pet being returned to you if he/she is ever lost.

What are microchips?

Microchips are very small, only about the size of a grain of rice, transponders that store information about your pet. They use radio frequency waves to transmit information about your pet when they are “read” by a microchip scanner. They’re implanted just under the skin, usually right between the shoulder blades. Microchips are designed to last for 25 years.

How does a microchip help me find my pet?

The microchip contains a unique registration number, similar to your social security number, and the phone number of the registry for the particular brand of chip. This information is transmitted to a handheld scanner that reads the microchip and displays the information. The clinic or shelter employee that read s the chip can then contact the pet locator registry to let you know your pet has been found.

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What is a pet locator registry?

Each brand of microchip is affiliated with a pet registration service. Having the microchip implanted in your pet is the first step, registering your pet with the registry service is the second. Unless you register your pet and your current contact information, the chip won’t help you recover your pet.

Just getting a microchip implanted is not enough; you must register your pet with the microchip company. Remember, if you move you must also update your information.

How do I register my pet?

Each microchip will include paperwork for you to fill out and submit. Most microchip companies also have online registration. Some companies charge a registration fee and may also charge an annual fee. Some pet microchip companies do not charge for their pet locator services.

Are there different pet registries?

Yes. Different chip companies do maintain separate databases. Some microchip companies will register pets with any brand of chip. When you have your pet’s chip implanted, be sure you get the details of the registry service.

Are there different types of chips?

Yes. Today we have universal scanners that can read all the microchips being made. In the past, this was not always true. Fortunately, many companies who make the universal scanners are providing them to animal control agencies, shelters and clinics at no or very low cost, so they are becoming more commonplace. Although the different brands of microchips use different frequencies to send information, a universal scanner can read them all. This is improved the recovery rate of lost pets significantly.