Dogs have been an important part of families since a long time. From being watch-dogs to family companions, dogs have been a support to mankind. With the electronics industry growing at such a fast pace, electronics for animals has not been far behind. Humans are using electronics for their pets to simplify their own lives and the security of their pets.
A microchip implant is an identifying integrated circuit (IC) placed under the skin of an animal. It is about the size of a grain of rice and uses passive radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, and is also known as a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag.
Externally-attached microchips such as RFID ear-tags are commonly used to identify farm and ranch animals other than horses. Some external microchips can be read with the same scanner that is used with implanted chips. The veterinarian injects the chip with a syringe and records the chip’s unique identification (ID) number of the anaesthetic. A test scan is done to ensure the operation has been done correctly.
An enrolment form is completed with chip ID, owner contact information, pet name and description, veterinarian contact information and an alternate emergency contact designated by the pet owner. Some shelters and vets designate themselves as the primary contact to remain informed about possible problems with the animals they place.
The form is sent to a registry, which may be the chip manufacturer, distributor or an independent entity; some countries have a single official national database. For a fee, the registry typically provides 24/7 toll-free telephone service for the life of the pet. Some vets leave registration to the owner, usually done online, but a chip without current contact information is essentially useless.
The owner receives a registration certificate with the chip ID and recovery service contact information. The information can also be imprinted on a collar tag worn by the animal.
Authorities and shelters examine strays for chips, providing the recovery service with the ID number, description and location so they may notify the owner or contact. An owner can also report a missing pet to the recovery service, as vets look for chips in new animals and check with the recovery service to see if it has been reported as lost or stolen.
Many veterinarians scan an animal’s chip on every visit to verify correct operation. Some use the chip ID as their database index and print it on receipts, test results, vaccination certifications and other records.