POPP is gearing up for another microchip clinic and we’re getting lots of questions! Here’s a collection of information to help answer questions. Do you have another question that you don’t see the answer to here? Let us know!
Q. What is a microchip?
A. It’s a tiny little chip coated in glass. It’s about as big as a large grain of rice. It’s encoded with a number unique to that microchip, and thus unique to your animal. It’s implanted subcutaneously (that’s under the skin) with a needle, usually just above your pet’s shoulders. Yes, it hurts a bit when implanted, but overall is very unlikely to cause issues later on down the road.
Q. What do I need to do with a microchip?
A. After the initial implantation, you should confirm with the manufacturer’s registry that the chip has been registered with your information. A chip without attached information is worthless! After that, be sure to keep your information updated whenever your address or phone number changes. Have your veterinarian check annually to see that the chip is still functional and that it has not migrated.
Q. How do I know if my pet has a microchip?
A. Any vet clinic or shelter should be able to scan your pet for a microchip. They’ll use a handheld battery-operated device and pass it over your pet’s body in a serpentine pattern to ensure that they don’t miss a microchip.
Q. How do I know how to register my microchip?
A. Some scanners will give the name of the chip manufacturer. Once you have the name of the company, hop online to find information about registering the microchip. If their scanner is unable to give you that information, visit http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/ and enter your pet’s chip number to see what company issued it and when it was last registered.
Q. Does it cost anything to register a microchip?
A. This varies from company to company. Some companies offer free initial registration, but future updates require payment. Some companies charge a small flat fee each time you’d like to update the information. Other companies charge a larger one-time fee to allow you to update the information for the life of your pet. POPP has opted to utilize microchips from Found Animals in order to allow our adopters to update their information for free!
Q. What’s this I’ve read about microchip “frequencies”?
A. Pet identification microchips have been manufactured in three different frequencies: 125 kiloHertz (kHz), 128 kHz, and 134.2 kHz. That last one, 134.2 kHz, has been established as the international standard, which means it’s the recommended frequency worldwide. Unfortunately, the USA does not require all chips used to operate at that frequency. Animals being moved out of the US are generally required to have an ISO compatible microchip. Several large organizations such as the AVMA and AAHA now recommend 134.2 kHz microchips as best practice.
Q. Can I track my animal with its microchip?
A. GPS units require a power source, so for obvious reasons, microchips cannot be used to track your pet. Microchips are effective only when someone finds your pet and brings it to a veterinarian’s office or an animal shelter to be scanned. Even then, that’s only effective if you keep your pet’s information up to date!
Q. What kind of microchips does POPP use?
A. We use microchips made by Found Animals. They’re 134.2 kHz and the company offers free registration and free information updates for the life of the animal!
Q. My microchip manufacturer charges too much to update the information! Can I microchip it again with another manufacturer?
A. You can, but there's no guarantee that a scanner will pick up your preferred microchip. You'll need to keep both microchips updated!
Q. Are there age restrictions for microchipping?
A. We reccomend that kittens and puppies be at least 2 pounds before getting microchipped. There's no upper limit though, and it's never too late to provide permanent ID for your beloved pet!