Along with parasite prevention and vaccinations, microchipping is another way to help keep your pet safe. It can also help you reunite with your pet if you are ever separated. Here, our vets in East Setauket discuss the benefits of microchipping cats and dogs and the different types of microchips for pets.

How to Choose the Right Microchip For Your Pet

While choosing a microchip for your pet may seem daunting, it may be simpler than you think. The different types of animal microchips existing today have different benefits and may be chosen based on your pet's characteristics, from size and weight to age and health conditions. Some microchips even allow you to monitor your pet's health.

In the end, your vet can help you decide which microchip is best for your dog or cat. Feel free to ask about microchipping at your pet's next preventive care appointment.

Types of Microchips For Cats & Dogs

Types of microchips for pets include different frequencies that different readers pick up. Some of the different kinds of animal microchips currently existing include:

  • 125kHz Chip: This was previously the most commonly used microchip frequency in the U.S., although all scanners cannot read it.
  • 134kHz Chip: Introduced in the U.S. in 2004, all scanners can read this microchip, which is considered the universal standard worldwide.
  • 128 kHz Chip: Introduced in 2007, this microchip can be scanned by most scanners.

What are some factors to consider when choosing a microchip?

Some of the factors to consider when choosing a microchip for your pet include:

Compatibility with Scanners

Unfortunately, in the U.S., there is no standard for microchip production, meaning that the various manufacturers all produce their own version of microchips with different benefits that operate at different frequencies. Because of the cost of microchip scanners, which can be expensive, pet hospitals and animal control facilities usually need to choose which type of scanner to carry rather than purchasing each one. This means that if a dog or cat is found at one of the facilities, the scanner may be unable to read the microchip if it has a different frequency.

International Microchip Standards

While there is no standard for microchipping in the U.S., having your dog or cat microchipped can still greatly increase your odds of being reunited with them. Even so, the International Standards Organization has approved a universal identification system for microchip use worldwide. These are the recommended standards in the United States, and while not mandatory, having your pet placed with an ISO-rated microchip means that you may be reunited with your pet even if you are overseas when you become separated.

Database Registration

Microchips don't have a centralized database in the U.S. The databases are run strictly by the manufacturing companies. The good news is that the identification number displayed by the microchip scanner will indicate the manufacturer. The only way the owner's information would be unavailable is if their contact information is incomplete or outdated or if the microchip was never registered.

Additional Features Offered by Microchips

While reuniting you with your pet is the main goal, some microchips offer additional benefits. Some microchips can monitor vitals, including heart rate and temperature. Others may be able to store medical records for your pet.

No matter which microchip you choose, the main goal is to be reunited with your pet, and it is vital to ensure proper implantation while keeping your pet comfortable.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Would you like to learn more about preventive care services to help keep your pet safe? Contact our East Setauket vets today.