What Are Pet Microchips and Microchip Scanners? (Reunite With Your Lost Pet)

Microchips and Microchip Scanners

Microchips and microchip scanners are the way to go to ensuring pet owners reunite with their dogs and cats. There is a short list of more disturbing things for a pet owner than having to cope with a missing dog or cat. It is sad to observe the ever-growing number of pets reported missing or stolen in the United States every day. It is even more worrying to note that many cases go unreported.

A significant number of these cases remain unsolved, regardless of the excellent work of renowned animal-related organizations and charities. However, all is not lost as many innovative companies are working tirelessly to find solutions to this problem. One of the most effective technologies that are available includes the use of microchips and microchip scanners.

What is a Microchip?

A  microchip is a tiny (comparable to a grain of rice) automatic chip with a glass exterior, cylindrical in shape. You can also call it a transponder. The chip has a unique code that helps to retrieve the pet owner’s contact information from the database or registry of a given microchip company, such as AVID andHomeAgain.

Chips do not use batteries. Instead, their design allows them to detect microwaves produced by a microchip scanner. Consequently, the chip conveys the unique code, which pet owners can view on an OLED screen of a scanner. Some scanners have screens with a backlight feature, which facilitates reading your pet’s identification number under different lighting conditions.

How is a Microchip Implanted into My Pet?

A Microchip is implanted under your pet’s skin using a hypodermic needle, generally around the scruff of the neck. The procedure is quick and straightforward, similar to a regular injection. Therefore, the pain level experienced is no more painful than a normal injection given during a routine vet visit.

However, the needle is to some extent bigger than the typical ones. For the procedure, your pet does not require anaesthesia or surgery. You can have a professional microchip your pet at any time, even during their regular veterinary visit. Suppose your dog, cat, or other pet is under anaesthesia due to surgery; you can always tell the veterinarian to microchip them while still in that state to cancel any possibility of discomfort.

Microchips and Microchip Scanners

What are Microchip Scanners?

Microchip Scanners are electronic devices used to detect microchips. The readers and are able to display your pet’s unique identity code if they have a microchip. This device is not only crucial for pet owners, it is also important for the animal rescue services, the police, and vets.

Basically, scanners can identify or detect microchips when held close to where the microchip is located within seconds, normally around a pet’s neck area. Given the model of the scanner, these devices can detect a microchip from a distance of 3 to 8 cm. Learn more on how to scan your pet for a microchip here.

After being placed near the microchipped area, scanners normally take a few seconds to display the coded information stored in the chip. Microchip Scanners have the capacity to store over a thousand IDs. Thus allowing the possibility for future reference.

These devices are normally powered by batteries (specific to each model). If your scanner uses rechargeable batteries, it is crucial only to use the USB cable wall adapter provided with the device upon purchase. The wrong usage of batteries may lead to deterioration of their capacity to work optimally or cause rupture, damage, or fire. If the reader is not in use, users should charge the batteries at least once every three months for best performance.

More recent scanners are more sophisticated and can store more IDs. They also have Bluetooth features, allowing for easy connection to storage devices, including computers and phones. Additionally, modern scanners assume a more ergonomic design to support durability among other significant features, such as increased durability.

Microchip Scanner

Quick Facts: Microchips

  • One cannot tamper with, remove, or damage the chip easily
  • The product is quite affordable
  • Does not require a power source
  • Microchips have a lifespan of about 25 years, once implanted
  • Chips have varying frequencies; 134.2 kHz, 125 kHz, and 128 kHz.
  • The existing categories of microchips include ISO and Non-ISO
  • The ISO type has a standard frequency of 134.2 kHz. The non-ISO frequency may have a frequency of 125 kHz or 128 kHz.

A universal scanner reads both ISO and Non-ISO frequencies. Therefore, non-universal scanners may fail to detect all microchips. (Confirm with your veterinary)

For instance, if your pet gets lost in Canada and was microchipped in the U.S. with a non-ISO or ISO microchip, if you use a Universal Scanner, you would be able to discover it. However, a Non-Universal Scanner would not be able to detect it.

Do I Need To Get My Microchip My Pet?

Losing a pet is normally devastating for both the owner and the lost dog or cat. Microchips and microchip scanners increase the probability that you will reconnect with your pet. Therefore, this combination is a great consideration for your dog or cat security measures.

Many animal professionals indicate that the reason behind the failure to reunite pet owners with their furry companions is failure to use microchips or an identifying collar/tag. Other experts highlight that the failure to update the microchip database/registry with current information also compromises attempts to reunite pet owners with their stray dogs or cats.

Remember to update your details on the microchip(s) if you happen to rehome a rescue pet. You can do this by contacting the company where the microchip is registered. Rescue centers normally do this. However, it is important to check.

Which Microchip Scanners Should I Buy?

It is normal to take waaaay too much time making purchase decisions especially if you have a variety of choices and little knowledge about the product. This was the case when I was deciding which microchip scanner I should buy.

To save you from spending afternoons trying to figure out which are the best microchip scanners for your lovely pets, I’ve summarized my research and review HERE.

Quick Look at Our Top Picks: Microchip Scanners from Amazon

  1. Smoostart Pet Microchip Scanner, 134.2kHz/125Khz ISO11784/85/FDX-B/EMID RFID Data Storage Microchip Reader for Animal/Pet/Dog/Cat/Pig (Black)
  2. Universal Pet Microchip Scanner, 134.2kHz/125kHz FDX-A/FDX-B/EMID/HDX RFID Pet Dog Microchip Reader Read All Format Chips 20000 Data Records Multiple Methods to Upload to Pc for Animal/Pet/Dog/Cat/Pig
  3. Pet Microchip Scanner, Portable Handheld Animal Chip Reader Universal RFID Reader Backlight Screen Support ISO 11784/11785, FDX-B, ID64 RFID for Animal/Pet/Dog/Cat
  4. Halo Pet Microchip Reader Scanner, Pink
  5. Pet Technology Store Halo Microchip Scanner – Black
  6. Portable Reader, Animal Chip Reader Universal Pet Chip Scanner Pet Microchip Scanner, Pet ID Microchip Scanner for Animal Pet Pig Dog
  7. ISENVO 190A Pet Microchip Scanner Rechargeable RFID EMID Micro Chip Reader Scanner 134.2kHz Standard FDX-B ISO11784/ISO11785 Pet Chip ID Scanner for Animal/Pets/Dogs/Cats/Pigs
  8. Pet Microchip Scanner,134.2kHz ISO11784/ISO11785/FDX-B/EMID RFID Pet Microchip Reader for Animal/Pet/Dog/Cat/Pig
  9. Smoostart Microchip Scanner, Pet Microchip Reader for Dog,134.2kHz/125Khz FDX-B ISO 11784/11785 and EMID RFID Reader with Information Storage for Dog/Animal/Pet/Cat/Pig
  10. Yanzeo AR180 Pet Microchip Scanner, RFID EMID Animal Handheld Reader,134.2kHz Pet ID Scanner Rechargeable Animal Chip Registration, Pet Tag Scanner FDX-B(ISO 11784/11785)

Check Out the Full Review HERE

Final Thoughts

Microchipping ensures you increase the chances of finding your dog or cat when they go astray. After microchipping your pet, all you need is an effective microchip scanner to ensure you safeguard your pet’s wellbeing.

With a variety of microchips and microchip scanners at an affordable price range, owning one will for sure be a great investment that your pet will appreciate.

2 thoughts on “What Are Pet Microchips and Microchip Scanners? (Reunite With Your Lost Pet)”

    1. Hello Pamela,

      Microchip scanners have come a long way with the advancement of technology over time. Unfortunately, getting a microchip scanner that reads all microchips is challenging because they are made by different companies and produce microwaves of varied ranges. However, I recommend this universal microchip scanner designed to read a wide range of microchips:

      HomeAgain Plus Universal Microchip Reader with Bluetooth Connectivity

      I will update you on more viable microchip scanners when I discover them.

      I hope this info helps.

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