Pet Microchip & Registration F.A.Q.
- Is this DATABASE for all pet microchips?
Yes. There is a difference between a database and a referral service. A referral service will use the amount of digits and or company code to direct the user to which distributor or manufacturer might have distributed the microchip. Pet Chip Registry is a Nationally Recognized database which holds exact and specific information for each microchip registered. Pet Chip Registry registers and displays contact information for all brands of microchips and frequencies. 125khz, 128khz, 134.2khz, 9, 10 & 15 digits.
- What if I need to update my contact information?
If your pet is already in the database, you will need visit the "Microchip Look-up" tab and enter your pet's microchip number to view your account. There, you will find the link at the bottom of your pet's page to request changes to your current contact information. You can also report your pet lost or missing.
- I need a new ID tag.
If you are already a member, please visit the "ID Tags" tab to order your pet's tag. We only supply tags for registered members. All tags are $12.99. If you have an ID tag code, please visit the home page and order your tag at the small, blinking, red arrow. If you do not have an account, you can become a member and create your account by visiting the Register a "Microchip tab". A new tag code will be offered to you at the end of the registration process.
- Is there an annual fee for this microchip registration?
If a paper application has been given to you from one of our participating rescue groups, there will not be an annual fee applied to your account. We (currently) have promotions where you can register all microchips with no annual fee for a limited time but otherwise, there is an automatic annual fee of $19.95 required when there is no promotion. Your microchip registration is valid for as long as you own your pet. Your pet's page will always display but you will need to be current to request account changes.
- Why do I need to register my microchip if I have a pet tag?
Pet tags are the fastest and most effective way to bring your pet home quickly. Unfortunately, pet tags can be lost during your pet's adventure away from home. You have made a wise decision by choosing a microchip for extra security.
- What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice. The microchip itself does not have a battery. It is activated by a scanner that is passed over the area, and the radiowaves put out by the scanner activate the chip. The chip transmits the identification number to the scanner, which displays the number on the screen.
- How is a microchip implanted into an animal? Is it painful? Does it require surgery or anesthesia?
It is injected under the skin using a hypodermic needle. It is no more painful than a typical injection, although the needle is slightly larger than those used for injection. No surgery or anesthesia is required. A microchip can be implanted during a routine veterinary office visit. If your pet is already under anesthesia for a procedure, such as neutering or spaying, the microchip can often be implanted while they're still under anesthesia.
- What kind of information is contained in the microchip? Is there a tracking device in it?
The microchips presently used in pets only contain identification numbers. No, the microchip cannot track your animal if it gets lost. Although the present technology microchip itself does not contain your pet's medical information, our microchip registration database will allow you to store that information in the database for quick reference.
- What do they mean by "microchip frequency?"
The frequency of a microchip actually refers to the frequency of the radiowave given off by the scanner that activates and reads the microchip. Examples of microchip frequencies used in the U.S. include 125 kiloHertz (kHz), 128 kHz, and 134.2 kHz.
- I've heard about something called "ISO standard." What does that mean?
The International Standards Organization, or ISO, has approved and recommended a global standard for microchips. The global standard is intended to create an identification system that is consistent worldwide. For example, if a dog was implanted with an ISO standard microchip in the U.S. travels to Europe with its owners and becomes lost, the ISO standard scanners in Europe would be able to read the dog's microchip. If the dog was implanted with a non-ISO microchip and the ISO scanner was not forward- and backward-reading (universal), the dog's microchip might not be detected or be read by the scanner.
The ISO standard frequency is 134.2 kHz.
- What are universal (forward- and backward-reading) scanners?
Forward-reading scanners only detect 134.2 kHz (ISO standard) microchips, but will not detect 125 kHz or 128 kHz (non-ISO standard) microchips. Universal scanners, also called forward- and backward-reading scanners, detect all microchip frequencies. The main advantage of universal scanners is the improved chances of detecting and reading a microchip, regardless of the frequency.
- How does a microchip help reunite a lost animal with its owner?
When an animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things they do is scan the animal for a microchip. If they find a microchip, and if the microchip registry has accurate information, they can quickly find the animal's owner.
- Will a microchip really make it more likely for me to get my pet back if it is lost?
Definitely! A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time. For microchipped animals that weren't returned to their owners, most of the time it was due to incorrect owner information (or no owner information) in the microchip registry database - so don't forget to register and keep your information updated.
- Does a microchip replace identification tags and rabies tags?
Absolutely not. Microchips are great for permanent identification that is tamper-proof, but nothing replaces a collar with up-to-date identification tags. Your pet's rabies tag should always be on its collar, so people can quickly see that your pet has been vaccinated for this deadly disease. Rabies tag numbers also allow tracing of animals and identification of a lost animal's owner, but it can be hard to have a rabies number traced after veterinary clinics or county offices are closed for the day.
- I just adopted a pet from the animal shelter. Is it microchipped? How can I find out?
If the shelter scanned the animal, they should be able to tell you if it is microchipped. Some shelters implant microchips into every animal they adopt out, so check with the shelter and find out your new pet's microchip number so you can get it registered in your name. Most veterinary clinics have microchip scanners, and your veterinarian can scan your new pet for a microchip when you take your new pet for its veterinary checkup. Microchips show up on x-rays, so that's another way to look for one.
- I want to get my pet microchipped. Where do I go?
Most veterinary clinics keep microchips on hand so, it is likely that your pet can be implanted with a microchip the same day as your appointment. Sometimes local shelters or businesses will host a microchipping event too.
- Why can't I just buy the microchip and implant it myself?
Although it looks like a simple injection, it is very important that the microchip is implanted properly. Using too much force, placing the needle too deeply, or placing it in the wrong location can not only make it difficult to detect or read the microchip in the future, but it can also cause life-threatening problems. Microchips should really be implanted under supervision by a veterinarian, because veterinarians know where the microchips should be placed, know how to place them, and know how to recognize the signs of a problem and treat one if it occurs.
- Once the microchip has been implanted, what do I do? Is there any sort of maintenance needed?
There really is no maintenance required for microchips themselves, although you do need to keep your contact information up-to-date in the microchip registration database. If you notice any abnormalities at the site where the microchip was implanted, such as drainage or swelling, contact your veterinarian. Ideally, the microchip should be scanned during your animal's yearly checkup to make sure that it is still in place and working as it should.
- I heard about a dog that was euthanized by a shelter because his microchip wasn't detected by the shelter's scanner.
Unfortunately, there was a case where a dog's ISO standard chip was not detected by the animal shelter's scanner (because it only read 125 kHz microchips), and the dog was euthanized after the usual holding period because they could not locate its owner. Although this was a very sad case, the good news is that this case helped bring national attention to the need for universal microchip scanners to prevent this from happening again. Much progress has been made, and the likelihood that this will happen again is very low.
- Why isn't it a requirement that all shelters and veterinary clinics use the same microchips and readers?
There is no federal or state regulation of microchip standards in the U.S., and different manufacturers are able to produce and patent different microchip technologies with different frequencies. Because of market competition, animal shelters and veterinary clinics are able to choose from several microchip manufacturers and scanners. Microchip scanners are relatively expensive, and it is often cost prohibitive keep one or more of each type of microchip scanner. This problem can be solved by the use of universal microchip scanners, which are becoming more readily available. In addition, the use of ISO standard microchips would be a good step in developing a consistent microchipping system in the U.S.
- Do the benefits of microchipping outweigh the risks
The benefits of microchipping animals definitely outweigh the risks. Although we can't guarantee that a shelter or veterinary clinic will always be able to read every microchip, the risk that this will happen is very low, and getting even lower. Animal shelters and veterinary clinics are very aware of the concerns about missing an implanted microchip, and take extra measures to determine if a microchip is present before a decision is made to euthanize or adopt out the animal. Universal scanners are becoming more available, and solve the challenge of detecting different microchip frequencies.