Pet Chip ID Technology Explained

Many of us have become accustomed to identifying our pets through tags attached to a collar or sometimes even through tattooing an animal.There is also the option of pet chip ID technology.

Microchip technology can be found in many things from the security sticker tags at retail stores to cell phones. Using a tiny circuit board, microchips use Radio Frequency Identification to transmit information contained inside the chip. This technology is now employed by animal care and control agencies, veterinarians, breeders and others to help reunite lost pets with their families.

The Basics of Microchip Implants

The technology embedded inside a microchip incorporates a miniature electronic circuit which employs radio frequency to transmit a signal activated only when it is scanned. The tiny chip contains something likened to a circuit board along with an antenna contained within a safe, airtight capsule. Administered by a professional veterinarian or animal care provider, a small chip, the size of a grain of rice, is inserted into the animal, between the shoulder blades, using a needle. This sterile, although uncomfortable, process does not harm the animal.

The small microchip contains a number unique to the chip and can be traced back to the pet owner when scanned with a handheld scanner. After implantation, a test scan is generally performed to ensure it is working. After the microchip is inserted, owners are instructed to register their information i.e. phone number, address or other identifying information through a website or a toll-free 24-hour telephone number.

The Importance of Microchip Technology in Pets

Pet ID technology has made the process of reuniting a lost; microchipped pet to their owner relatively simple. When a pet is found by animal control, a shelter or turned into a veterinary office, the first thing that most of these organizations will do is use a universal scanner to scan for a microchip. The scanner activates a radio signal transmitted by the electronic circuit contained in the chip and relays the chip number. This number is then used to trace either the owner's information or will contain the information to track the animal back to where it was originally microchipped.

This common-sense technology has helped to reunite thousands of pets with their owners and is recommended by veterinarians worldwide. It is also used by many shelters to reduce the rate of animal intake due to lost pets and even reduces the rates of euthanasia in shelters. It is still, however, recommended to use tags as a form as identification just in case your pet decides to wander the neighborhood.