Getting your pet microchipped is a great strategy to help protect them in case they ever run away or get lost.
The American Veterinary Medicine Association recommends that all pets get microchipped. To back that up, they point to a 2009 study that showed, pretty starkly, how effective microchips can be at reuniting lost pets with their owners.
That study looked at more than 7,700 shelter pets and showed that dogs with microchips were returned to their owners 52.2 percent of the time, compared to just 21.9 percent of the time without microchips. With cats, the importance was even more apparent — they were returned to their owners 38.5 percent of the time when they had microchips, compared to just 1.8 percent of the time when they didn’t.
This is why you should absolutely get your pet microchipped as soon as possible. And if you’re researching microchips, you’ve probably come across AKC Reunite and HomeAgain, two common and popular pet microchipping companies.
If you’re having a hard time choosing between the two, this is the guide for you. Below, we’ll compare AKC Reunite and HomeAgain in detail, taking into consideration every feature pet owners need to know when choosing the right microchip for themselves and their pets. But that’s not all. We’ll also talk about why a microchip isn’t the only tool you should have to protect your pet from getting lost, and how you can provide them with even better protection with one simple tool.
AKC Reunite vs HomeAgain: Who Makes the Better Microchip?
AKC Reunite and HomeAgain have a lot of similarities, since they’re both pet microchip manufacturers and registration companies.
First, a little bit about how pet microchips work: A tiny microchip is inserted under your pet’s skin, holding a scannable, permanent ID number. Your contact information is not actually on the microchip — the ID number is linked to a registry where you can store important information like your contact information, medical information for your pet, and even their picture, depending on the registry. When the microchip is scanned, the ID number is retrieved, and can then be used to look up the registry and whatever information is included on it.
When it comes to common features for pet microchips, here’s how AKC Reunite and HomeAgain compare.
When looking at the overall and long-term costs, AKC Reunite has a more appealing price structure than HomeAgain.
HomeAgain costs $19.99 to register, and customers can also sign up for an optional premium membership. That costs $19.99 per year, and includes:
- Pet travel assistance in case your lost pet is found far away from home;
- Free access to lost pet specialists;
- Free access to lost pet specialists;
- Lost pet alerts sent to participating shelters and vets.
In addition, each time you need to update your information on HomeAgain’s registry, they charge a $6 fee.
On the other hand, AKC Reunite costs $19.50 to register online, or you can purchase your microchip with registration prepaid. There are no yearly fees, no premium memberships, and updating your information on the AKC registry doesn’t cost anything.
Their registries are where the services AKC Reunite and HomeAgain offer start to really differ.
With a HomeAgain microchip, you can only register your pet on the HomeAgain registry, paying the $6 fee the company charges each time you need to update your contact information.
With AKC Reunite, you can register any microchip, regardless of which company manufactured and sold it. You can even register a HomeAgain microchip with AKC Reunite.
That makes AKC Reunite a great choice for pet owners who adopted a pet with a microchip already inserted, or whose vet only uses a certain brand of microchip. Instead of getting locked in with a company like HomeAgain that charges them for every update, they can register that microchip with AKC Reunite and get unlimited updates for free.
Type of Technology
All pet microchips use the same kind of technology: radio frequency identification (RFID). It’s the same kind of technology that’s used in a contactless credit or debit card. RFID chips can only hold a very small amount of information — in this case, your pet’s permanent ID number that can be used to look up your contact information in the microchip registry.
Additional Equipment Needed
Microchips can only be read by a specific type of scanner, and not all microchips can be read by all microchip scanners. Vet’s offices and animal rescues usually have microchip scanners on hand, while the average pet owner doesn’t. Universal microchip scanners can be very expensive.
Size and Weight
Unlike many pet trackers, microchips are small and lightweight enough for any pet — only about the size and shape of a single grain of rice. They can be inserted under your pet’s skin using a special syringe, like a vaccine, and your pet won’t be able to feel the microchip once it’s inserted.
Your pet’s microchip doesn’t work like a pet tracker. It can only be read from very close range — usually up to a few inches away.
Microchips aren’t powered by batteries. They receive power from the scanner when it passes over them — just enough to transmit the ID number they hold. Because of this, they don’t wear out over time, and should not need to be replaced during your pet’s lifetime.
AKC Reunite vs HomeAgain vs Huan: The Other Tool You Need to Protect Your Pet
Whether you choose AKC Reunite or HomeAgain, a microchip alone isn’t enough to keep your pet safe.
That’s because you can’t track your pet with a microchip — which means it only works to help reunite you with your lost pet after they’re found, and even then, only if the person who found them knows they need to be scanned for a microchip.
Microchips have helped reunite many lost pets with their owners, and you should absolutely get one. But you should also have a tool that will help you find your lost pet right when they go missing, no matter where they are. That tool is Huan.
Huan + a Microchip: The Perfect Combination for Keeping Your Pet Safe
Huan Smart Tags do something microchips just can’t: They help you find your missing pet while they’re still lost.
Huan Smart Tags cost just $30 each. There are no monthly fees, no renewals, no memberships. Just $30 to protect your pet for life.
Huan doesn’t have a registry like microchip companies do. Instead, it has a Pet Protection Network — a community of Huan users who can help find your missing pet. Once you mark your pet as lost in the Huan app, any Huan user within range will get a notification to their smartphone, and the map will update with your pet’s current location — even if their phone is locked and put away.
Huan uses bluetooth technology, which doesn’t emit potentially harmful radiation like many GPS pet trackers. All you need to use it is your smartphone with the Huan app installed.
Also unlike many GPS pet trackers, Huan Smart Tags are small and lightweight enough for any pet, even cats and very small dogs. And Huan can work continuously for up to a year on a single battery.
Huan: The Protection Your Pet Needs
Getting a microchip is the first step toward protecting your pet. Getting Huan is the next step.
Ready to protect your pet, wherever you go? Join our pack today.