Is your pet microchipped?

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a microchip?

What is now referred to as a microchip is in fact a transponder or RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) A transponder is a small, passive, biologically compatible glass or plastic cylindrical shaped vial (or other shapes for other animals) inside of which is a wafer shaped microchip and an antenna with an integrated circuit attached. So its simpler to talk about microchipping animals rather than transpondering them. Hence the usage of the words MICROCHIP & MICROCHIPPING.

If my pet is lost, can the microchip be detected from a helicopter or satellite?

No. That is a completely different form of technology andoperates on active (e.g. battery) technology as often seen on TV. Microchips must be read by a reader just a few inches from the animal

Does the microchip move when implanted?

Yes. All microchips move to some extent. It's the fat layer under the skin that grabs the microchip and stops it moving. This is helped by either a special coating or rough collar on the microchip. It is therefore logical that in young puppies with very little subcutaneous fat that microchips could move further than expected. This is why it's important in puppies to implant the microchip midline between the shoulder blades where there is a "pocket" to hold the microchip until the fat can grab it.

Is there an International Standard for microchips?

Yes In 1996 ISO Standards 11784 and 11785 were published. So all microchips manufactured from then should conform to the ISO Standard.

Are all ISO microchips the same?

No The ISO Standard only means that all microchips must send a similar signal to a reader that must be able to read the signal. The ISO Standard does not guarantee other important factors such as:

  • The size of microchip
  • The size or configuration of antenna used in the transponder.
  • Strength of signal sent to reader from microchip and therefore read distance
  • Size & type of needle/syringe the microchip is injected through (Implanted)
  • Sterility and bar-coding of microchip

Does the ISO Standard guarantee the uniqueness of microchip codes?

No but ISO has protocols in place and has approved ICAR (International Committee of Animal Recording ) to guarantee uniqueness of codes by using a combination of country and manufactures codes and database management.. It is therefore important to use only microchips and readers that are ICAR approved. Where there is no national agreement or regulation in the use of microchips, the manufactures code must be used in place of the country code.

Should I have my pet microchipped?

Most positively YES. Its simple, painless, cheap (once in a lifetime), it may soon be a legal requirement BUT remember there is no point in having your pet microchipped unless it's also registered on an up to date web based database.