Which is best for your pet?
The easy answer is to use both, but the truth of the matter is that you are probably better off just using a GPS tracker.
The Problem with Microchips in the U.S.
Finding the owner of a microchipped pet can be a long and confusing process, mainly because there is no singular national database in the United States, which means an owner can register any brand of a microchip with any registry. They can even submit the same microchip ID number in multiple registries, but the sade truth is that most pet owners won’t even register in one. There are 15 DEFRA approved databases in the UK. The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) approves and monitors all 15 DEFRA-compliant pet microchip databases, and requires them all to communicate with each other. Therefore, if you search one UK database for a microchip number, you are searching them all.
In North America there are more than 20 microchip registries that do NOT communicate with each other, so if your pet is lost with a microchip, you better hope that the person who finds them is very patient. Each chip has a unique number that is revealed on a handheld scanner, and the person doing the scanning will usually search the largest databases first, plugging the number in each time. The microchip can be read by scanners that are currently used by most animal organizations and veterinary clinics. However, they know that many chip never get registered, so after 5 or 6 searches, many just give up.
GPS is Better
Here are a few reasons why GPS trackers are better than microchips for finding lost pets:
Real-Time Location Tracking
One of the biggest advantages of GPS trackers is their ability to provide real-time location tracking. With a GPS tracker, you can monitor your pet’s location in real-time and receive instant notifications if your pet wanders outside of a designated area.
In contrast, microchips do not provide location tracking. Instead, they rely on a finder to bring your pet to a shelter or veterinary office where the chip can be scanned to retrieve your contact information. This means that if your pet is lost or stolen and is not found by someone who knows to check for a microchip, you may never be reunited with your pet.
Improved Speed and Accuracy
GPS trackers provide much faster and more accurate location data than microchips. A GPS tracker can provide the exact location of your pet within seconds, while a microchip may take several hours or even days to be scanned and processed by a shelter or veterinary office.
In addition, GPS trackers can help you pinpoint the exact location of your pet, even in areas where there is no clear landmark or address. This can be especially helpful in rural or wilderness areas where there are few roads or landmarks.
GPS trackers are also more flexible than microchips. With a GPS tracker, you can track your pet’s location in real-time from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. This can be especially helpful if you are traveling with your pet or if your pet is being cared for by someone else while you are away.
In contrast, microchips are limited by the range of the scanners used to detect them. If your pet wanders outside of the range of a scanner, the microchip may not be detected, which can make it more difficult to locate your pet.
While microchipping is still an important tool for pet owners, GPS trackers offer several advantages over microchips when it comes to locating lost pets. Real-time location tracking, improved speed and accuracy, and greater flexibility make GPS trackers an ideal choice for pet owners who want to ensure that their pets are always within reach. So, if you are looking for a reliable way to keep tabs on your furry friend, consider investing in a GPS tracker.