Regardless of whether you’re traveling around the block or around the world, a microchip is essential for your pet. In fact, if you plan on traveling internationally, it may be required. Did you know that less than half of dogs and a fifth of cats have any form of identification? Could you imagine the nightmare of losing your pet on a trip or vacation? A microchip and scanner will help ensure your pet gets back to you anytime, anywhere.
What is a microchip?
Microchips are transponders (about the size of a grain of rice) made up of an electronic chip and small antenna and is inserted using an implanter. For most animals, microchips are inserted in between the shoulder blades. The implanting process is painless, lasts a few seconds and is perfectly tolerated by pets. The procedure is very similar to your pet’s routine vaccinations. Find out more about pet microchips.
How does the microchip operate?
Once the microchip is successfully inserted, a microchip scanner (or reader) can be used to identify the chip. (Please note: not all microchip scanners will read every type of microchip) The scanner sends a low frequency signal providing energy needed for the microchip. The chip then sends the unique microchip number back to the reader and it is displayed on the LCD screen of the reader. This number is unique to your pet. Several of the numbers will represent the manufacturer and some the country of manufacture. This number can be researched and your information can be found through a worldwide database supported by the manufacturer. Remember that the responsibility for registering the microchip belongs to the pet owner. Make sure to complete the registration information and keep it updated.
How do I scan a pet for a microchip?
• Before you start the process, make sure you’re using either a universal reader or a scanner that specifically identifies the type of chip inserted in the pet. Note: Not all readers will identify every type of chip.
• Ensure you’re not too close to any computer or metal equipment that could cause interference with the magnetic field of the reader antennae.
• Hold the microchip scanner close to the pet.
• Scan the pet rocking the scanner back and forth (in a zigzag like pattern) as microchip can be implanted in different orientations.
The importance of microchips in pet travel is enormous. The chip will give your pet a unique and permanent identity that can neither be duplicated nor removed. Make sure that your pet’s microchip has been registered and all contact information is up to date and accurate. More about pet travel.