Microchips For Cats and Dogs 101
Due to the pandemic, more and more international students were going back to their own countries with pets on board. Pets are often required to have microchips when travelling by flight. With mature technology, the popularity of microchips in Canada is higher than in
China, So, what is a pet microchip? Do I need to microchip my pet? How does this work? In this article, you will have some general understanding of this pet related product.
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a radio-frequency identification transponder that carries a unique identification number, similar to a person’s ID card. There’s no battery, no power required, and no moving parts. It is passive, only be effective if the microchip is registered in a database and scanned by your vet.
It is roughly the size of a grain of rice. A standard pet microchips is usually 11-13mm long and 2mm in diameter.
In dogs and cats, microchips are usually inserted below the skin at the back of the neck between the shoulder blades on the dorsal midline.
It is a simple procedure and causes little discomfort. Don’t worry, the pain is minimal and it’s no more invasive than a vaccination.
In North America, two frequencies are usually used in a pet microchip.
· 125kHz: Until recently, this is the most common frequency used in North America which could be read by most scanners.
· 134kHz: Introduced to the US in 2004, this kind of microchips are defined by the International Standards Organization, also known as ISO. The code format for this chip is 15-digit numbers using 0-9, where the first three digits represent the country code or manufacturer code. 134kHz is often considered as the "global standard" for pet microchips, which is more widely used than 125kHz in more countries.
How does Microchip work?
Unlike GPS for tracking, microchips only store the unique pets’ ID number, which can be used to have an access to the parents’ contact information.
When scanned, the chip under the skin of the pet will emit a radio frequency signal and the scanner can read the unique ID code stored in the microchip. Then, the information of the registered ID code will be pulled out in the database.
Most animal shelters and veterinary hospitals in North America have global scanners that can read pet microchips from most manufacturers
Does the Microchip have GPS?
The pet microchip mentioned above is not a tracking device.
Not GPS! Not GPS! Not GPS!
They are radio frequency identification (RFID) implants that only provide with a pet’s ID and parents’ contact information.
With the RFID technology, the microchip doesn't need a power like the GPS. When scanned, the microchip will get enough power from the scanner to transmit the ID number.
No batteries, no moving parts. Nothing needs to be charged or replaced. Once implanted, the chip will remain in the pet's body.
It's similar to holding someone else's ID card, you are still not able to track them down.
Is Microchipping painful for my pet?
The procedure is fast, safe, and appears to be relatively pain-free. No anesthesia needed. Microchip implantation is no more painful to pets than a flu shot to a human.
Some puppies and kittens may flinch or yell when they're microchip implanted, but the pain is very short and most animals forget it quickly.
It is very important to find your lost furry family members back. The benefits of implanting microchips far outweigh the small discomfort.
How much does it cost to Microchip?
The average cost of microchip implantation in a vet ranges from about $50 to 150. It is a one-time fee usually including the registration in the Pet Recovery Database.
If your pet was adopted from a shelter or purchased from a breeder, they may already be microchipped. Don’t forget to ask before going home.
Things you also need to know about Microchips
After your pet successfully microchip implanted, there are some other things the pet parents need to pay attention to:
1. It is very important to provide the correct and most updated contact information in the database.
2. Remember to activate the registration online on time otherwise the service may not work for your pets.
We highly recommend every pet parents to microchip your cat or dog. It will greatly improve the chances of retrieving your lost pets.
And remember, do not take your cat outside without training. you will regret it if they run away due to the stress.