QR Codes – The Best Alternative/Addition to Microchipping March 17 2014
QR Codes are growing in popularity all around the world, it is very widely used and is showing up on everything right from chewing gums, newspaper ads, pricing cards and restaurant menus. QR codes are now used even on dogs’ and cats’ identification tags and collars.
It is the abbreviated form of Quick Response code, and it is a 2-dimensional bar code created by Toyota back in the late 1990s. It was initially created for tracking the automotive parts efficiently, ever since they have been growing in popularity all around the world. With tech majors like Google and Microsoft adopting these codes extensively, they are now literally universal.
This now brings us to the application of QR codes in the pet industry. Using a QR code tag and a smart phone together can help people to get their pets home faster and safer. Using QR codes instead of microchips is a far better and cost effective way of protecting your pets.
Use of Microchipping:
The microchips usually RFIDs (Radio Frequency Identification Devices) are inserted beneath the skin of the pet. These chips are usually inserted in the loose skin around the neck region of your pet. An external scanner can scan for the chip; the chip will carry all the information about the owner. The scanner can easily find the personal information of the owner. Though most pet shelters and vets carry such a scanner, a rescuer might not be aware of it and might not take a strange pet to a pet shelter or a vet. Though there are few people who are willing to go that extra mile in taking the pets to a pet shelter, but they are rare ones and not the norm.
Another major issue with microchips is the variety, with 4 different types of microchips we need 4 different scanners, and the modern scanner which can identify all the 4 types of chips are really expensive. So, even after microchipping, you may lose your pet because the chip may go undetected due to a wrong type of scanner.
Only 3% of pets are microchipped. Pet owners refrain from microchipping because they are expensive, carries an annual fee and pet owners often object to the idea of implanting a chip in to their companion.
Finally, even among those 3% pets (which are microchipped), 58% of the data in the microchip is outdated making it impossible to contact the owners. Despite all these drawbacks, the one advantage of opting for a microchip is they won’t fall off like a collar could and they have saved a lot of pets in the past
QR Code Pet ID Tags Vs Microchips
QR codes are fast, easy and carry a lot of data. QR codes come in two forms, the pet ID tags and the Collar Embedded codes. The pet ID tags are just like a typical tag that hangs on the pet’s existing collars. A qr code dog tag provided by PetQ would cost you less than $20 and carry all information and the pet profile in it. It also carries information like special dietary requirement of your pet. The rescuer just needs a smart phone to get all the information required. Today over 50% of the US population carry a smart phone capable of scanning a QR code. Most new devices come with the scanning software pre-installed.
You can easily update your personal information in the manufacturer’s website. Even if you have microchipped your pet, you can still opt for a QR code pet ID as it provides additional protection for your pets.