A lot of people in the world own pets and they love them very much. Over 10 million pets are lost every year and more than 90% of them end up in a shelter, some of them wandering off in the streets. If a pet is lost or kidnapped, the owner doesn’t have much of a choice but to hang flyers all around the neighbourhood and wait. That has changed with the advancements made in the GPS and microchip technologies. As a pet owner, you can implant a microchip or buy your pet a GPS tracking device to find the location of it in case your pet runs away, get lost or stolen. So how do owners decide between microchips or GPS devices?
A microchip use radio frequency to transmit short-range signals and it contains a unique serial number for RFID readers to read and identify your pet. Microchips, as you can understand from the name, are very small and easy to implant under the skin; also because it has no power supply, it is also safe. When a pet is found or taken to a veterinarian, they scan your pet with a microchip reader to identify it. Microchips also contain owner contact information. The biggest disadvantage for the microchip is its transmit range. Since it has no power supply, its range is very limited.
GPS satellite system is a network of satellites orbiting the earth that transmit radio signals to GPS tracking devices all around the world. These signals are received by tracking units and used to locate vehicles, assets and in your case pets in real-time. GPS tracker needs to pick up signals from at least 4 satellites to determine the location, then by triangulating and calculating the distance, it will provide you with the necessary info with a margin error down to a few meters. Most of the tracking units have their own power supplies and batteries. They can pick up and transmit signals over vast distances for long periods of time. You can fit a GPS pet tracker inside a pet’s collar since they are about the size a matchbox. You will be able to track your pet anywhere in the world at any given time. Pet trackers need to be waterproof, durable and battery-powered.
So do you need a GPS tracker or a microchip for your pet? You need both. A microchip is important because in case your pet is lost and someone finds it; a vet’s office or a shelter can scan the microchip, identify your pet and return it to you. GPS tracking devices, on the other hand, enable you to track your pet as soon as they get lost. You can track its location in real-time and retrieve it as soon as possible. You won’t have to wait for someone to find for your pet and take it to a shelter.
Between these two devices, GPS tracking unit is the clear winner but in the unlikely event that the tracker runs out of power, you will need a microchip to identify your lost pet. That’s why you should install both of them to make sure your pet safe and can be found immediately when it gets lost. After all, everyone loves their pets very much and you wouldn’t want them to be homeless in the streets or worse.