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Microchipping Your Pet: Why Is It So Important

Microchipping your pet is one of the many requirements of international pet travel. Experts feel that regardless of whether you are planning to travel with your pet or not, it is a good idea to implant a microchip in your dog or cat. Every year hundreds of pets are lost, stolen or run away, and microchips are a successful way to unite pets with their families. Dogs, cats, horses, ferrets and other animals can be implanted with a microchip. Several countries across the world including the European Union, the United States, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and others have made it mandatory to microchip both pet dogs and cats before entry.

How do microchips work?

Microchips are simple technology; it is a rice-sized chip inside a tiny capsule made of bio-glass that contains a radio frequency identification transponder. The chip is implanted between the shoulder blades of your pet using a syringe. It is a relatively painless procedure, and your vet can do it in a matter of seconds. Every chip has a unique ID number, which is read when a microchip scanner passes over it. The unique ID corresponds to your pet and can be used to obtain ownership details of the pet from the database that the microchip is registered. When you implant a chip in your pet, you are creating a permanent bond between you and your pet. If your pet is missing, any pet care worker or a Vet can use a scanner and retrieve your contact details. If you move away or change your contact details, contact the registry with which the chip is registered to update your details. Call or email the company with your latest details.

Do microchip frequencies matter?

Different types of microchips carry different radio frequencies. In the US, the most commonly used frequencies are 125 kHz, 128 kHz, and 134.2 kHz. To bring standardisation, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) has approved and recommended a global standard for microchips. The ISO standard microchip has a 15-digit identification number and a radio frequency of 134.2 kHz. Most countries in the EU and several non-EU countries require pets to have an ISO compatible microchip. If you are travelling with your pet to these countries, it is crucial that you implant the right chip.

If your pet already has a non-ISO microchip implanted, and you are planning to travel to a country that requires an ISO microchip, you can insert a second microchip in your pet. However, it is vital that you update your contact information on the database for both the chips.

Microchips and international travel

Why are microchips mandatory for international pet travel? When your pet travels overseas, the paperwork required for the travel is copious. Immigration officers use the information on the microchip to match it with the documents presented to make sure that your pooch is the same as described in the documents. Our vets and pet concierge team also scan the microchip during health check appointments and before boarding to ensure paperwork is correct prior to departure.

If you are planning for your pet to travel to a different country, microchipping is just one of the many requirements. The correct paperwork and vaccinations are different for different countries, and they need to be in order before the big move. If you have any questions about pet relocation or implanting a microchip in your pet for travel, phone or email our team at Petraveller and we’ll be happy to help.