Having your pet go missing can be incredibly stressful. But if you have your pet microchipped, your odds of being reunited grow substantially. Microchipping is often done at the time of adoption or when your pet is spayed or neutered. However, this is not always the case, so if your adoption papers do not mention a microchip, you might want to consider getting one ASAP.

About Pet Microchips

A microchip is a rice-sized passive electronic circuit in a unique glass capsule that gets inserted with a hypodermic needle under the skin between the shoulder blades. No maintenance is required.

Microchips are not GPS devices. Many animal shelters, veterinarians, and other animal care facilities have scanners that can read the unique serial number in the microchip to identify your pet. They can then search a nationwide database to locate the owner’s registered information.

Microchips used in the United States differ from those used in Europe. Therefore, folks planning to travel to Europe with their pets should have both the U.S. chip and the European/International Organization for Standardization (ISO) chip in their pet. Fortunately, Fondren Pet Care Center carries both the U.S. and ISO chips and has scanners that read both.

How Pet Microchips Work

Pet microchips work similarly to the way radio and TV stations work. A broadcast station transmits electromagnetic waves, which induce a small electrical current in your radio’s antenna. With microchips, the chip sends a signal to a handheld scanner. While a radio or TV requires a power source, with a microchip, the signal itself is enough to power the chip, which in turn transmits its unique serial number back to the scanner.

Not all pet microchips use the same frequency. For the chip to be read by the scanner, they must use the same frequency. There are two predominant microchip frequencies in use, 125 kHz, used primarily in the U.S, and 134.2 kHz, which is the ISO frequency used by the rest of the world. Many of the scanners in U.S. shelters read only the 125 kHz chips, while most of the world reads only the ISO chip. For this reason, Fondren Pet Care recommends that jetsetting pets should have both the U.S. and ISO chips.

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