Along with parasite prevention and vaccinations, microchipping is another way that you can help keep your pet safe. It can help you to be reunited with your beloved companion if you ever become separated. Here, our vets in Egg Harbor Township talk about the benefits of microchipping cats and dogs and the different types of microchips for pets.
How to Choose the Right Microchip For Your Pet
While choosing a microchip for your pet may seem like a daunting task, it may be simpler than you think. Different types of microchips have different benefits and may be chosen based on your dog itself, from their size and weight to their age and health conditions. some microchips even allow you to monitor the health of your pet.
In the end, your vet can help you make the best decision about which microchip works best for your dog or cat.
Types of Microchips For Cats & Dogs
Types of microchips for pets include different frequencies which are picked up by different readers. Some of the different types of animal microchips currently existing include:
- 125kHz Chip: This was previously the most commonly used microchip frequency in the U.S. although it cannot be read by all scanners.
- 134kHz Chip: Introduced in the U.S. in 2004, this microchip can be read by all scanners and it is considered the universal standard worldwide.
- 128 kHz Chip: Introduced in 2007, this microchip can be scanned by most but not all scanners.
What are some factors to consider when choosing a microchip?
Some of the factors to consider when choosing a microchip for your pet include:
Compatibility with Scanners
Unfortunately, in the U.S., there is no standard for microchip production meaning that the various manufacturers all produce their own version of microchips with different benefits that operate on different frequencies. Because of the cost of microchip scanners, which can be expensive, pet hospitals and animal control facilities usually need to choose which type of scanner to carry rather than purchasing each one. This means that if a dog or cat ends up found at one of the facilities, the scanner may be unable to read the microchip if it has a different frequency.
International Microchip Standards
While there is no standard for microchipping in the U.S., having your dog or cat microchipped can still greatly increase your odds of being reunited with them. Even so, the International Standards Organization has approved a universal identification system for microchip use worldwide. These are the recommended standards in the United States, while not mandatory, having your pet placed with an ISO-rated microchip means that you could be reunited with your pet even if you are overseas when you become separated.
Microchips don't have a centralized database in the U.S., the databases are run strictly by the manufacturing companies. The good news is that the identification number displayed by the microchip scanner will indicate the manufacturer. The only way that the owner's information would be unavailable is if their contact information is incomplete or out of date or if the microchip was never registered.
Additional Features Offered by Microchips
While reuniting you with your pet is the main goal, some microchips offer additional benefits. Some microchips can monitor vitals, including heart rate and temperature.
No matter which microchip you choose in the end, being reunited with your pet is the main goal, and ensuring proper implantation while keeping your pet comfortable is vital.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes only and Newkirk Family Veterinarians does not provide microchipping services as of the time this was written.