Microchips are a primary way we can protect our
animals' lives. The average microchip costs about $25 to have implanted by a Vet
into your dog. This small investment can be the difference between your ever
finding your lost dog - and the dog being euthanized because the shelter
facility has no idea of to whom the dog belongs. It is important to note that
shelters only keep animals a certain length of time before they're euthanized or
shipped to a shelter that will eventually euthanize the dog.
The problem with microchips is the issue of
The International Standard Organization (ISO)
attempted to create a universal standard for Microchips used in livestock (like
Berners). They came up with written code referred to as " 11784 ". Basically,
this code sets fifteen (15) characters/digits as the standard for a microchip
number. The frequency these chips are set to / read at is about 134.2 khz.
And " 11785 " is the code which sets the standards for the scanners that read
the 11784 code microchips.
However, a different style microchip had already
gained prominence in use that had ten (10) characters/digits and operated at the
frequency of about 125khz. These chips are generally known as FECAVA chips
(Federation of European Companion Animals and Veterinary Alliance - or something
like that). So the ISO made an addendum called " 11784 Annex A " which
incorporates FECAVA microchips and sets an additional standard that allows use
of only ten (10) characters/digits and operates at frequency of about 125 khz.
The 11784 Annex A, basically, created a lot of
confusion. But it allows for the FECAVA and AVID EuroChip to be universally
accepted as an ISO standard microchip.
At this time, the main microchip providers in the
AVID microchips are purchased directly from
AVID. Home Again microchips can be purchased through distributors like
A Veterinary professional is the best choice
for installation of a microchip. Correct installation is vital to keep the
microchip from migrating and also to protect the animal's physical health.
After microchip has been installed, it should
be registered with a national pet registry.
If a dog with a microchip has been received by
a shelter, the shelter personnel will contact the national pet registries to
try to find who has registered that dog. So, naturally, it is in your pet's
best interest if you keep the microchip registration current on your contact
Discussion for Breeders
This is an excerpt from a post
I gave to a Bernese Breeders chat group on Microchips:
AVID microchips use nine (9)
digits and Home Again uses ten (10) digits. The universal code is to use ten
(10) digits, although some microchip systems may use more digits than
that. AVID also sells a 'EuroChip' which has ten (10) digits, the last digit
always being 'A' for AVID.
AVID sells three scanners. One
reads only the AVID mircochip (nine digits) and the other two scanners read
universal chips (up to 16 digits, I think). So these scanners also read Home
Again chips (ten digits). One of the universal scanners is said to be a bit
more powerful than the other.
Home Again sells one scanner that
reads universal numbers. They tell you that it reads up to 16 digits. But they
don't tell you this fact: it doesn't read less than 10 digits. However, it
will beep to tell you if there is a microchip present that it cannot read the
numbers of. So Home Again scanners will tell you that an AVID chip is present,
but cannot display that exact digit reading (because of the missing digit in
the AVID chip). However, Home Again scanners can read (and display) the AVID
EuroChip because this chip has that tenth digit.
As a breeder, when you buy a 'LOT'
of microchips, that 'LOT' is registered to you as part of your purchase. This
'LOT' will incorporate all the microchip numbers you purchased and it is
assigned a 'LOT NUMBER'. As a breeder, it is a great idea to keep record of
this 'LOT' number in regards to that litter.
Ideally, after implant into a dog,
each microchip will be registered by the dog's owner (and/or breeder) with a
national tracking registry like AVID's PetTrac or Home Again Pet Recovery.
Multiple contacts for one microchip are accepable on most registries.
If the microchip is registered
with a national tracking registry, like PetTrac or Pet Recovery, then those
persons listed will be contacted if that dog is found (i.e., by a shelter
If the microchip is not registered
with a national tracking registry, and the dog is recovered by...say, a
shelter facility...there may be a delay of several days before you, the
breeder (aka, the 'LOT' buyer), are contacted about the dog. This is because
the registration of the 'LOT' is completely different from a microchip
registry like PetTrac or Pet Recovery. The 'LOT' records are maintained by the
microchip seller and not by the registry. Registries do not maintain 'LOT
buyer' records. That information is kept only by the microchip seller. So the
pet recovery registry has to contact the microchip seller and determine the
LOT buyer's contact info. Again, this can take many days.
Whether as LOT buyer or as
registry contact, you must notify (both places) when your address changes or
they will be unable to contact you regarding a lost dog. So if you are a
breeder and do not register your puppies with a registry, it is important to
update your "LOT" information if you change your contact infomation.
Home Again Pet Recovery and AVID
PetTrac charge a registry fee. However, there are national microchip
registries that do not charge a fee, like
With AVID, when buying a 'LOT' of
microchips, you can do a thing called 'PrePaid Registration' for half (1/2)
price of normal registry fee. ($7 instead of $15 per registration). So you pay
for this when you pay for your 'LOT' of microchips. Included with your
microchips, you'll get individual forms for however many 'pre-paids' you
bought. Then you just fill them out with the contact info and AVID microchip
number and mail those forms to PetTrac.
With AVID, you have a choice to
buy a thing called a "FriendChip" (LOT). Unless you buy a FriendChip package,
your AVID microchip will not come with a collar ID tag. I believe Home Again
always comes with a collar ID tag, but I'm not certain of this (can't remember
as I don't use HA anymore).
When you buy your microchips (AVID
or Home Again), they usually come with bar code labels on self-peel, adhesive
paper. I microchip every puppy/dog and use these sticky bar-code labels to put
on each one's file and also on the paperwork that goes home with the puppy
You can inject microchips
yourself, if you know how. They're generally put into the muscle tissue in the
area of the front right shoulder (so to speak - ask someone to actually show
you hands on as I find this hard to explain). It needs to be placed such
that it will not easily migrate. Microchip migration has historically been a
problem, although the newer chips are much more resistant to migration than
the chips made in prior years. If inserted correctly, today's microchips
are not as likely to migrate.
Personally, I get someone well
versed in implanting microchips into puppies - like a Vet Tech or my Vet. I
may have these implants done at time of 8 week puppy evals, or another
convenient time before puppy goes to its new home.
Some websites to visit for more
When buying a 'LOT' of AVID
microchips, be certain that your 'LOT' is registered to the same account
number you've been using. AVID personnel sometimes will assign you a new
account number (not realizing you have an existing account already).
And if you buy several 'LOTS',
having multiple account numbers can be a real problem - especially if you