Frequently Asked Questions

Need help registering your pet or using your PetScanner? See our FAQs for everything you need to know.

PetScanner FAQs

What is PetScanner?

PetScanner is the world’s lowest cost microchip reader directly connected to a government approved, worldwide pet database that finally allows everyone to scan and reunite pets. With users in over 133 countries, our registered pets benefit from the thousands of PetScanner microchip readers in circulation across the world.

Here at PetScanner, we offer 3 things:

  • PetScanners (microchip readers): Paired with our free app, our PetScanners can scan any 15 digit microchip and instantly identify any chipped animal. PetScanner-registered owners can be instantly contacted & reunited with their pet at the tap of a button! There are NO additional costs for scanning only.
  • DEFRA-compliant pet database: We offer the lowest cost DEFRA-compliant pet registration at just £2.99… and we don’t charge you to update your contact and address details! These can be updated for free during the lifetime of your pet. Register online or via the PetScanner app.
  • PetScanner Pet Protection: We provide the most advanced pet protection which includes benefits such as receiving an instant notification telling you where your pet has been scanned and who by – this gives you the best chance of reuniting with your companion if they ever go missing. (3 months included with all pet registrations via the app OR £0.99/month)

 

I just want to use the scanner - how does it work?

Our PetScanners works by pairing with our free PetScanner app (search ‘PetScanner’ on the Google Play Store). Simply download the app, create a free profile, connect your PetScanner to your phone, click the green scanning icon in the top right corner in the app and get scanning! Watch our quick video on how to scan here.

Our PetScanners can scan any 15 digit microchip (FDX-B) of any brand, in any animal. Information given upon scanning all animals includes:

  • Microchip number
  • Registered database(s) and database telephone number
  • Owner name, number and email address so you can reunite the pet at the tap of a button (PetScanner registered pets only)

You can also view your scan history and make personal notes on each pet you scan – these are all free features on the app! See more information on our how to scan page.

What animals can I scan with PetScanner?

PetScanner can scan and identify any animal with a 15 digit microchip. This includes dogs, cats, horses, lizards, rabbits… the list goes on!

What type of microchips does PetScanner read?

PetScanner can read any brand of 15 digit microchip (FDX-B).

How much is a PetScanner microchip reader?

Our cable PetScanner (Android devices only) is just £9.99.

Our Bluetooth scanner (Android and iOS devices) is just £19.99.

Both scanners need to be paired with the free PetScanner app. Search ‘PetScanner’ on the Google Play or App store.

How do I scan pet?

Open the PetScanner app, connect the PetScanner microchip reader to your phone and click on the scan symbol in the top right hand side corner in the app. Hold the scanner with the ‘scan this side’ facing down onto the surface of the animal. It is important to note that some microchips can migrate around the neck to the shoulders, chest, legs or back of the animal, so it is a good idea to scan the whole body if the chip isn’t found in the neck. Start by scanning slowly around the neck in circular motions, this action will help for successful scanning. If the chip isn’t present in the neck, the rest of the animal should be thoroughly scanned. When scanning, the short beeping noise means you are close to the microchip. Keep scanning in this area until you hear a long beep meaning the chip has been detected. Once detected, a screen will appear which will display the pet microchip number, registered database and if registered with PetScanner, the owner’s name, number and email. Watch our quick video on how to scan here.

What happens if I scan a pet and it isn’t registered with PetScanner?

Due to our smart database integration, if you scan a pet’s microchip and the owner of the pet is not registered with PetScanner, the app will display the pet’s 15 digit microchip number and we will also cross check all other DEFRA-compliant databases to provide the database which the pet is registered to and their contact number.

How do I register my pet?

You can either register your pet online or on the PetScanner app. Pet registrations start from a one-off payment of just £2.99 for one pet and updating contact, address and pet details is free at anytime. Optional PetScanner Pet Protection can be added for just £0.99/month.

REGISTERING ONLINE (2-3 minutes):

To register your pet with us, you will first need to make a free account (or sign in if you already have one). You can then register your pet by clicking ‘register pet’ on the webpage and enter pet details to complete registration – we take registrations from all animals including dogs, cats, horses, birds and more! Register online here.

REGISTERING ON THE APP (2-3 minutes):

To register your pet on the app, you will first need to download the free PetScanner app (search ‘PetScanner’ on the Google Play store). You will first need to make a free account (or sign in if you already have one). You can then register your pet by clicking ‘add pet’. To add your pet, we need to find their microchip number. You can do this by one of the following ways: manually enter their chip number, scan the microchip barcode on their implantation document using our in-app barcode scanner, or scan your pet’s chip using a PetScanner reader. If using a PetScanner reader, connect it to your phone and scan your pet to obtain chip number. Enter other pet details to complete pet registration. Download the app here.

All registrations made via the app include 3 months free PetScanner Pet Protection (usually £0.99/month) – this can be cancelled at anytime and your pet’s registration will still remain.

What are the registration benefits?

Registering your pet on our DEFRA-compliant database includes the following benefits:

  • Full DEFRA-compliant pet protection – see us listed on GOV.UK as one of their trusted and approved databases here
  • Lowest cost DEFRA-compliant pet registration – just £2.99
  • Update your contact, address and pet details for FREE at any time – this increases the chances of being reunited with your pet if they ever go missing.

Optional PetScanner Pet Protection benefits (PetScanner Pet Protection can be added to your pet’s registration for just £0.99/month):

  • Receive an instant notification of where your pet is scanned with a PetScanner and the contact details of the person that scanned your pet
  • Receive an instant notification if your pet’s chip number is searched online with any other database lookup service
  • View your pet’s previous scan and search records from August 2018. This includes chip searches done via DEFRA microchip lookup tools, such as Petlog. (The scan history provided is for scans made with a PetScanner)
  • Mark your pet as lost – other users are notified on the app and will see your pet marked as lost when scanned with a PetScanner
  • Securely transfer pet ownership using our in-app pet transfer function (no more sending off paperwork)

Find our more about PetScanner Pet Protection here.

How much is pet registration?

A single pet registration is a one-off payment of just £2.99 and you can update your details or transfer pet ownership for FREE at any time. You can register your pet online or on the PetScanner app.

All registrations made via the app include 3 months free PetScanner Pet Protection (usually £0.99/month) – this can be cancelled at anytime and your pet’s registration will still remain.

The more pets you register, the lower the cost per pet! See more pricing information here.

 

Is PetScanner a certified pet database?

Yes. PetScanner is a fully DEFRA-compliant database meaning that we comply with government regulations. Registering your dog on the PetScanner database will make you complaint with UK law (microchipping of dogs law 2016). Please visit the GOV.UK website to see us listed as one of their recommended pet databases.

Data Protection - how are my details shared and are they protected?

Your telephone number and email address are only shared with another user if they scan your pet with the PetScanner microchip reader and phone app in the case of a lost, stolen or homeless pet, or if a pet is being re-homed. This means that they must be in physical possession of your pet at that time. The communication between our microchip scanner and the phone is end-to-end encrypted to ensure data is only shared when a real pet microchip is scanned. By registering with PetScanner, you agree to share your contact details (name, telephone number and email address) with any other user than scans your pet.

Can my pet be registered with another pet database?

Yes, you can be registered with more than one pet database. If you register with PetScanner and are also registered with another pet database, we will notify you of which database you are already registered to, but we cannot disclose of any ownership information you may hold with them.

Does PetScanner work with my pet's existing microchip?

Yes! PetScanner will scan all worldwide standard 15 digit microchips (FDX-B and EU/ISO), so the system will work with your pet’s existing microchip.

Can PetScanner be used anywhere?

PetScanner can be used anywhere with an internet connection. An internet connection is needed to search for the microchip number and cross-check other databases.

How does PetScanner differ to other pet databases?

Traditionally, your pet can be registered on a country specific database which requires your contact details and registration details of your pet including the microchip number. These databases charge a registration fee and additional fees if you want to update your contact details. Their business model is based around charging fees each and every time a user wants to change contact details. Updating your contact details is very important in the case of a missing pet, however many people forget or can’t afford to keep paying to update their details every time they change their telephone number or address. Unlike any other pet database in the world, PetScanner works via an app on your smartphone in conjunction with our revolutionary microchip scanner that connects to your phone, this empowers users to easily contact the owner of any pet they scan with their reader, if the scanned pet is marked as lost or stolen.

Is PetScanner limited to one country?

No! Unlike almost all other pet databases, the PetScanner system is global. If anyone scans your pet anywhere in the world, you will be instantly informed of where and who your pet was scanned by. Then a simple press of the dial button and you will be talking to the person who just scanned your pet! There are many sad cases of pets being transported to other countries and never being reunited due to the old style databases not being connected overseas. PetScanner now makes that a thing of the past.

What is the ‘Rehoming System’

Our rehoming system is a new secure way to ensure pets only change ownership when the pet owner has authorised the transfer. This works by only allowing pet ownership transfer once the current owner has unlocked the pet in their app. Any malicious attempt to transfer a locked PetScanner registered pet, will fail. With PetScanner, if someone attempts to register your pet, you will also receive an instant notification of who and where, as all registrations require the use of the PetScanner microchip reader.

What is the difference between PetScanner and other microchip scanners?

Here are some factors which differ between PetScanner and other pet databases.

Price – PetScanner is the world’s lowest cost pet microchip reader. It is not just a little cheaper, is it almost 5 times cheaper! Our PetScanner device costs only £9.99, whereas the other available microchip scanners cost a minimum of £50.

Functionality – The current leading brand of microchip scanners only show the microchip number after scanning a pet, and must be connected to a laptop or PC for the system to be updated and display information regarding its owners contact details. Once connected to your smart phone, our PetScanner will instantly show all contact and pet details on your smartphone after scanning a pet. The PetScanner is also small and can fit anywhere, whether it be in your car or handbag!

Power – The PetScanner microchip reader does not require batteries, it is powered using your smartphone. The current leading brand of microchip scanner has a standby battery time and needs to be charged through a laptop or PC.

Efficiency – If a subscription plan is in place, PetScanner will immediately notify the pet owner via their smartphone if the microchip being scanned belongs to an animal that has been marked as lost or stolen. It will also allow the app to instantly display the contact details of the owner of the pet to the person that has scanned the pet, allowing for the quickest possible contact, all at the comfort of your smartphone.

Does the PetScanner device need batteries?

The cable PetScanner device doesn’t need batteries, it is powered by your smartphone!

The bluetooth PetScanner device needs one PP3 battery (the square battery). This battery has enough power to scan more than 5000 microchips.

To find out more about our two different microchip readers, please visit Our Scanners page.

Where can I buy a PetScanner microchip reader?

You can buy the PetScanner microchip reader directly from our online shop or in the PetScanner app.

Does PetScanner track your pet?

No. PetScanner works by scanning the microchip in your pet. Pet microchips are not tracking devices as they do not contain a GPS tracking device. Instead, they have a 15-digit registration number that is used as an identification method, should your pet become lost or stolen.

Why not use GPS?

A GPS chip is made of complex materials and is much bigger than a microchip, this could be harmful to your pet if this was inserted internally. To insert a GPS chip into a pet is difficult, so a GPS tracking device can only be inserted into a collar, which can be easily removed. GPS is also battery powered, so when it runs out of battery, you won’t be able to track your pet. Some GPS devices can also only function if there is enough network coverage, and in the cases where there is not enough coverage, the GPS device is very unreliable.

Does PetScanner harm my pet?

PetScanner does not cause harm to animals. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is used to allow microchip scanners to detect the microchips.

More About Microchips

What is a microchip?

A microchip is a minuscule amount of semiconducting material used to make an integrated circuit. Simply put, it is a small chip about the size of a grain of rice, used as a permanent method of electronic identification, consisting of a unique 15 digit number.

How does a microchip work?

In animals, the tiny microchip is simply implanted internally under the skin, usually between the shoulder blade and the neck of your pet. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is used to allow microchip scanners to detect these chips and therefore reveal the unique 15-digit number associated with each specific microchip.

What are they made from?

The microchip itself is made from silicon and the material surrounding the microchip is made from glass that is biocompatible, which means it’s not poisonous and won’t harm your animals body, so your pet won’t experience any side effects after implementation.

Do they track your pet?

No. Pet microchips are not tracking devices, they don’t contain a GPS tracking device. Instead, they have a 15-digit registration number that is used as an identification method, should your pet become lost or stolen.

How can a microchip help to reunite a missing pet with their owner?

Some animal shelters and vet clinics have scanners capable of reading microchips. When the chip is scanned, the 15 digit identification number is shown, not necessarily showing the owners contact details. Usually the vet will have to contact the database the microchip is registered with and then find out the owners contact details in an attempt to reunite the pet. This can only happen if the vet has time to do so and if the owners details are up to date, however, in most cases they are not. With PetScanner, when a microchip is scanned, whether it be by a vet or individual, a notification is sent directly to the phone of the owner via the PetScanner app, which makes it simple and easy for the lost pet to be reunited with its family again.

What are they used for?

The main use of microchips is inserting them into animals, where they are used to help find lost or stolen pets. Microchips are also used by biologists to track wild animals and study about migration. Another use is in credit cards to allow for increased secure payments.

What is the difference between and standard microchip and a thermal microchip?

A thermal microchip is almost identical to a standard microchip, with the added benefit of a temperature sensor and is still the size of a grain of rice, measuring 12mm in length. Having an inbuilt thermal sensor means that your pet’s identification number and temperature can be scanned simultaneously. Usually, your pet’s temperature can only be taken during a vet visit using a thermometer entered your pet’s sensitive areas. This can be stressful for both your pet and sometimes the vet! PetScanner allows you to take a temperature reading from your pet by simply scanning his/her microchip yourself, providing you a way of taking your pet’s temperature non-invasively. More importantly, PetScanner allows you to take your pet’s temperature at home and therefore recognise early signs of possible illness.

How does PetScanner detect thermal microchips?

PetScanner detects thermal microchips in the same way it detects standard microchips. Please read above on ‘how does a microchip work?’. The temperature is encoded in the ‘extra’ data section at the end of all pet microchips.

How is the data for thermal microchips displayed?

Once your pet’s thermal microchip is scanned with the PetScanner device, the data is displayed on the PetScanner app on your smartphone. Your pet’s temperature values are also displayed in an easy to read graph so you can clearly see temperature patterns and trends.

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