How Does Pet Microchipping Work?


No bigger than a grain of rice, a family pet microchip is a radio-frequency recognition transponder comprised of just a couple of parts enclosed within a slender pill of bioglass, which is used extensively for implants in both people and animals. Some microchips have anti-migration features to guarantee capsules remain in place by bonding with the tissue under the animal’s skin.

How Does Pet Microchipping Work

– A microchip’s sole function is to save a special ID number that is used to recover a pet parent’s contact info – it differs from a Global Positioning System, which is used for tracking, and needs a power source such as a battery.

– When a microchip scanner is passed over the skin of a microchipped family pet, the implanted microchip emits an RF (radio frequency) signal. The scanner reads the microchip’s distinct ID code. The microchip computer registry is called, and the computer system registry company uses the ID number to retrieve the family pet parent’s contact info from the family pet recovery database.

– Most animal shelters and veterinary healthcare facilities in the United States have worldwide scanners that read pet microchips from most manufacturers.

Microchips have different frequencies.

Microchips are passive devices, which indicates they have no internal energy source. They remain inactive until they are activated by a scanner. In the U.S., several different microchip frequencies have actually been used for animal microchips:

  • The 125kHz chip – up until recently, this was the most typical frequency in the U.S., and can be checked out by many scanners in the United States


  • The 134kHz chip – was presented to the U.S. in 2004. This microchip is specified by specs established by the International Standards Organization or frequently called ISO. The microchip ID code format for this chip is defined as a 15-digit numerical code that uses 0-9, where the first three digits represent a country code or a producers code. This often is thought about the “worldwide standard” for animal microchips, as it is used by the rest of the family pet microchipping world.


  • The 128 kHz chip – presented in 2007, can be checked out by lots of scanners, but not all.

How Does Pet Microchipping Work

Does the frequency matter? Yes and no.

– Virtually all shelters and veterinary clinics have scanners. It is estimated that by early 2008, there were currently over 70,000 “universal scanners” in the United States – scanners that read all frequencies of microchips ever sold here, including the new ISO requirement.

– Many leaders in animal health recommend the new ISO standard, consisting of American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association.

– If you take a trip outside of the United States with your pet, it is likely that your family pet will require a microchip to enter the foreign country. If so, have your animal implanted with an ISO chip, because many countries outside the United States use the ISO requirement and their scanners will not read the other frequencies. If your family pet has currently been implanted with a various frequency, some countries will allow you to bring your animal as long as you bring a microchip scanner with you that can read the ID number.

Do not microchip your animal once again, as several microchips can disrupt precise readings.

– You must ask your vet which microchip frequency their center suggests.

Also read: Dog Tags: What Information Needed for Collar ID Tag?


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