What Is a Pet Microchip Scanner?

What Is a Microchip?

A microchip is a tiny computer chip or transponder about the size of a grain of rice. It stores an identification number and transmits that information through radio waves to the appropriate scanner.

Typically, the microchip number contains 10 characters, making available 275 billion separate codes. This makes it highly unlikely that the same identifying code will be used more than once. Rest assured that your pet will have a unique microchip code. Learn more about How Pet Microchips Work here.

Microchips are composed of a silicon chip and tiny antenna encased in biocompatible glass. The microchips come pre-loaded in a syringe, and the needle is inserted just under the skin between the shoulder blades where the microchip is implanted. The entire procedure takes less than 10 seconds and is only as painful as a vaccination injection.

After injection, the tissue surrounding the microchip reacts to this new substance and forms a casing. This helps prevent migration of the microchip. Since the microchip is made of biocompatible material, rejection is uncommon and infection at the site is very rare.

To learn more about pet microchips, how much they cost, and how they work – go to All About the Pet Microchip: Is it Worth it?

What Is a Pet Microchip Scanner?

The microchip scanner is used as a power source for the microchip to receive the message encoded in the chip. The scanner uses electromagnetic energy to empower the chip to transmit its message through radio waves, which are normally at specific frequencies for each manufacturer of microchips. For this reason, in the past, not all scanners could read all brands of microchips.

To address this potential problem, the International Standards Organization determined that universal readers must be produced. That has allowed for the scanners to identify chips from various manufacturers.

Scanners are often provided to animal control, humane shelters, and other rescue organizations at no cost to ensure that every stray dog or cat is scanned and those with chips are reunited with their owners. Veterinarians can also purchase scanners for use in their hospital.

What Are the Types of Microchip Scanners for Pets?

Companies that make and sell microchips generally also have scanners. The most common are the AVID and HomeAgain scanners. There are also independent companies that make universal scanners that will read the various types of microchips.

Should You Have a Microchip Scanner in Your Home?

Most pet owners that have a pet with a microchip do not need a universal pet microchip scanner. The only time you need a scanner is if you find a lost pet, and you can always take a lost pet to your local vet clinic or shelter to be scanned.

Registering Your Pet

Even if your dog or cat has a microchip and is properly scanned, this information will not return your pet to you without an accessible and accurate database.

When contacted with the identification code of a missing pet, the database personnel can retrieve the pet’s information. Each microchip that is sold is registered to the veterinary hospital or shelter that purchased it. It is your veterinary hospital’s responsibility to record your pet’s unique microchip identification number and notify the microchip database.

In addition, you can register your pet in your own name for faster notification when your lost pet has been found. There is a charge for this service. These microchip databases are usually available 24 hours a day and are even accessible via the Internet. But remember, the database, as with computers, is only as good as the data it contains. Annual confirmation of your pet’s microchip information is strongly recommended.

Your pet’s vital information can also be stored in a smart pet ID tag, like ByteTag. Click here to learn more about the safest and most advanced pet tag on the market.

How Pet Microchips Can Help You Find Your Missing Pet

Does your pet need a microchip? Learn more in these articles – go to Microchipping for Your Cat’s Safety or Should You Use a Dog Microchip?

Additional Articles About Pet Microchip Scanners

All About the Pet Microchip: Is it Worth it?
How Do Pet Microchips Work?
Should You Use a Dog Microchip?
How Much Should You Expect For Dog Vet Costs?
Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinics vs. Your Local Vet
What is Pet Insurance?
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Questions To Ask When Choosing A New Vet
One Dog, Three Vet Visits – Pet Insurance Helps!
Pet Insurance: What It Covers & What It Doesn’t
A Major Investment: The Costs Associated with Dog Ownership

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