Things To Consider
When shopping for scanners, there is almost nothing made of the radio frequency your reader can pick up, despite it being one of the most important things when it comes to accurate or even just successful readings.
Most microchips operate at 125KHz, 128KHz and 132.2KHz and so you need a scanner that can operate at all of these frequencies to be in with any chance of successfully identifying an unknown chip.
Nobody wants to go round the park carrying a big huge metal detector and there are plenty of dinky scanners which animal lovers can carry around in their bags covertly and simply bring them out when they suspect an animal is a stray.
One of the most confusing aspects of microchip scanners is their chip reading universality, as there are many different types of pet microchip out there and so some scanners can only pick up and read certain ones.
That’s why getting a scanner that’s as universal as possible is incredibly important, especially if you own a shelter. There are plenty of horror stories out there of found pets being brought to shelters and those establishments lacking scanners which pick up rare frequencies or certain digits of chips.
In general, it’s most important to have a scanner which can pick up ISO (International Standards Organisation) standard chips, as unsurprisingly, these are the most commonly used.
This is a global standard intended to give continuity amongst identification systems worldwide, so that if pets get lost in other countries, most scanners will still be able to pick up a reading.
The most common ISO standard chips are FDX-B and HDX chips which are detectable at 134.2KHz.
Non-ISO chips also exist though, especially in older animals chipped before standards were implemented. These will usually emit lower frequencies of 125KHz or 128KHz and are commonly FDX-A.
Nobody likes using batteries these days and there’d be nothing worse than coming across a stray animal only to discover your triple A’s had gone dud. Most scanners with USB cables and ports are thankfully rechargeable, meaning it’s never something you’ll have to worry about.
If taking in a lost animal isn’t really an option for you, or you are in a career where you’re having to scan lots of pets per day, it’s handy to get a device which can store hundreds of identity tags at once onto its system so you can upload your data at a more convenient time.
Scanners which are compatible with database software and such are vital to helping reunite owners with their lost pets, as you can plug in your scanner and check which ID tags you have found are listed as missing on such databases.
The further the reading distance (the distance at which a scanner can detect the chip’s unique ID code), the stronger the detection capabilities of the device. In general, an incredibly strong scanner can pick up readings at 15cm or further!