Around 8 million pets end up in shelters every year. Out of this staggering number, only around 20% of dogs and less than 2% of cats are claimed by the real owners.
The use of microchips to identify lost pets has become increasingly popular. If you’re looking for an app to check if a pet is chipped, you could be one of the two circumstances:
- You have found a lost or abandoned pet, and the chip will help you find the owners.
- You just got yourself a pet and want to get them chipped for more security.
So is there an app to check a microchip?
Unfortunately, there is not a single app to download on your android or IOS to detect or scan a microchip. The reason is that microchips do not have a power source of their own and they simply store information. They can only be scanned by a chip reader and mobile phones do not use such type of technology as a chip reader.
Microchips in animals communicate via NFC. Most phones do not currently have the ability to read these RFID chips without an external scanner attached to it. In that case, you first need to find out if your phone is compatible with a scanner. The external hardware has its own apps that can be used to track the microchip number and get your hands on the owner’s details.
Losing a pet or the thought of it can be a scary situation. While microchips do not offer real-time tracking, pets with microchips are often reunited with the owners, making it an important investment.
Some apps may, however, help you find out if a pet has a microchip. But you may still need to check up on the online registry or with a vet to get the pet ID and further details. These apps are not designed for NFC communication but may detect the magnetic elements. This would at least tell you if the animal is chipped so you can proceed and get more details.
Pet safety is much more than just about microchips.
Here’s more information to help you understand the importance of chipping and what option you have for increasing your pet’s safety. Keep reading.
Detecting a Chipped Pet – Is It Possible with a Phone App?
Let’s get this clear – the only way microchips can be detected in animals is by specific scanners or chip readers. These devices should be in close range with the chip for easy detection.
A microchip is a tiny electronic chip sealed within a glass cylinder. It is no larger than the size of a grain of rice and is injected under the animal’s skin with the help of a hypodermic needle. As mentioned earlier, the microchip is an NFC device, which stands for Near Frequency Communication.
Therefore, it is not possible to detect a microchip with a regular mobile phone. While there are many apps you can find in the PlayStore or Apple Store, they are either associated with a microchip scanner or don’t work.
So how do you find out if the pet is chipped?
The surefire method is to take the animal to a vet and get it scanned with the right device for a potential chip. You can also take the animal to a nearby animal welfare center for a free-of-charge service. Once detected, the scanner would figure out the pet’s identity number, which makes it easier to find the real owners of the pet with the registered information of the animal.
Usually, the information includes the name of the pet owner, a phone number, or the details of the place where the chip was planted. You can use this information to trace the real owners to return the pet.
It is important to learn about the limitations of a microchip. While it will help you find the real owners once you get your hands on the information, microchips aren’t GPS devices and will not trace the animal in real-time. So if this is why you want to microchip your pet, don’t do it.
With that said, you can get a GPS tracker on your animal too for maximum safety. There are many amazing options you can find online. The best part is that a GPS tracker is not injected. The device is waterproof with an amazing range of 100 feet. You can get a GPS tracker on your own without any assistance from the vet.
Tracking Your Pet – What Other Options Do You Have
As stated earlier, microchips cannot locate your pet in real-time. It is not a tracker that could help you find the exact location of your pet. And if that’s what you’re looking for to keep your pet more secure, here are some options you may consider.
You can consult your vet if you also want to add a GPS tracker for your pet. Unlike the microchip, GPS is not injected inside the animal.
You have been wondering if there’s an app to check if the pet is chipped. Well here’s the deal – there are apps available that you can use to locate your pet if you’re using a GPS system.
So if that’s your main concern, maybe just getting the GPS system should work for you.
There are many options available that are appropriate for cats, dogs, and other pet animals. These are also available with the vets, pet shops, and other online shopping websites.
If you’re getting a GPS device for your pet, here are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- It should be appropriate for your animal in terms of size and weight. Make sure it is lightweight enough to keep your pet comfortable.
- A GPS collar works best because you simply need to put that on. The only thing you need to make sure of is that your pet wears the collar all the time.
- The GPS collar would have a specific app that’s associated with the device. Download it and follow the instructions to track your pet.
- You will be provided with the name of the app or the QR code for downloading it.
- The app can help you locate your pet and tell you the exact position of your pet along with the history of where it’s been.
- You will be notified if the battery on the GPS collar is low so you can keep it charged at all times.
Unfortunately, a GPS can be removed from your pet or the battery can run out while your pet is lost. So even that’s not the absolute best way to guarantee your pet’s safety. Therefore, it is best to speak to your vet and discuss a better option to keep your pets safe.
Everything You Need to Know About Microchipping Your Pet
The best part about chipping your pet is that it is not too expensive. However, the cost varies from country to country. In any case, it isn’t bigger than the safety of your pet.
I will address a few important questions in this section to help you learn more about microchipping your pet.
Q. What exactly is microchipping and can it be done to any pet?
Microchipping is the process of placing a chip under the animal’s skin. Usually, it is injected between the shoulder blades. Each chip has a unique identification number that can be read by a scanner.
Microchipping is more common in dogs and cats, but it can be done to different animals, including ferrets, horses, and most other mammals.
Q. Do I need a veterinarian’s assistance with microchipping? How long is the process?
Since the process is just like any regular injection, it will take only a few seconds to do the job. In fact, completing the paperwork for the microchip takes much longer than implanting the microchip itself. And while it is not necessary to get it done by a veterinarian, I recommend a vet do it.
Q. Will microchipping hurt my pet?
Since the chip implantation is done using a large needle, it would hurt about as much as having blood drawn. Your animal would feel a pinch. Most people get the process done when their pets are being neutered or stayed.
Q. What about microchipping cost?
If you’re taking your pet to a veterinarian, it shouldn’t cost you more than $50. But you can reduce the cost if you’re getting the microchip while also getting other things done, such as a regular checkup. The cost will be covered under the office visit.
Other than that, you can save on the cost by checking with local rescue groups or animal shelters.
Q. Can microchipping be dangerous?
There are reports of some cases with complications during the microchipping process. Even though it is extremely rare, it can happen. And that’s why I highly recommend that you take your beloved pet to a veterinarian even though there’s no law. The complications may occur depending on where or how the microchip is injected.
Q. Can a microchip really help me get my pet if they’re lost?
The microchip can help find your pet if someone picks it up and takes them to a vet or a shelter and get them scanned for a microchip. It is a common misconception that microchips work like a GPS device or a tracker. Unfortunately, you cannot locate your pet with a microchip. It will only work if someone finds your pet and get them scanned for the chip.
Once the chip number is identified, the person can then get in touch with the company to find the owner’s details. Another important thing to remember is that the chip is only as good as the registration. In simple words, just injecting that tiny piece under your pet’s skin isn’t enough. You need to get it registered and complete the paperwork to make sure it includes all the relevant information such as your name, phone numbers, etc.
It is also important to keep this information updated at all times so that it is easier to reach out to you in case of a lost pet.
So how does a microchip really words? Check out this video for a more elaborated explanation:
This article isn’t about how amazing microchips or GPS are. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. I recommend that you do your research, speak to a vet, and take a decision wisely.
If you have just found an animal that looks like a lost pet, it is best to get them scanned at a vet or a local rescue and get your hands on the owner’s information. If you’re learning more about these options to keep your pet safe, I’d suggest you get them both chipped and GPS tracked.
Lastly, I pray and hope you never lose your pet.