Anyone’s pet can go missing.
A study by the ASPCA showed that within a five-year period, 15 percent of pet owners had a pet go missing. Since 85 million American households own pets, that amounts to almost 13 million missing pets in every five year period — or just over 2.5 million per year.
Since so many pets go missing each year, pet owners have an incredibly important responsibility to make sure their pets are protected in the event that they ever run away or get lost or stolen.
Microchips are one of the most common, popular, and affordable ways pet owners can give their furry friends some protection.
Veterinarians and animal shelters have partnered up for a huge public information push that promotes microchips (and many animal shelters require pets to be microchipped before they’re adopted out). But if your pet doesn’t have a microchip and you’re considering getting one, you might be wondering what type of chip is the best option. Specifically, HomeAgain and PetLink microchips are two brands you’ve likely come across in your search, because they’re both extremely popular options among pet owners.
Wondering whether HomeAgain or PetLink is the best choice for your cat or dog? That’s why we put together this article. Keep reading for a comprehensive comparison of these two microchip companies. But that’s not all — we also explain in detail how microchips work, and why they don’t offer your pet maximum protection. For that, you need both a microchip and Huan — but we’ll explain in more detail down below.
HomeAgain vs PetLink: Which Is Better?
What HomeAgain and PetLink provide is actually extremely similar.
These are both pet microchipping companies, which means they provide tiny microchips that can be permanently inserted under your pet’s skin. Each microchip is linked to a registry maintained by the company that sold the chip. Pet owners can register their pet’s microchip, connecting it to their contact information, so they can be reached if their lost pet has the microchip scanned.
Here’s how HomeAgain and PetLink compare on a number of features pet owners typically consider when comparing pet safety devices.
HomeAgain charges a one-time, $19.99 fee that lasts your pet’s entire lifetime. Additionally, pet owners can purchase a yearly membership (an additional $19.99 per year) that comes with extra benefits, like an emergency vet hotline and travel assistance in the event that your lost pet is found very far from home.
PetLink charges a $19.99 fee for registering your microchip. For an additional $19.99, you can upgrade to a lifetime membership, which includes unlimited changes to your registration.
Both HomeAgain and PetLink must be inserted by a trained professional — usually at an animal shelter or your vet’s office. Charges for this service will vary.
Type of technology
Microchips use radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. It’s the same as the technology in the chip in a contactless credit or debit card. This is the technology used by both HomeAgain and PetLink.
Additional equipment needed
Microchips, including those sold by both HomeAgain and PetLink, can only be read with a special scanner, which provides power to the chip and retrieves your pet’s ID number from it. Usually, veterinary offices and animal shelters will have these scanners. It’s not common for pet owners to have their own microchip scanners.
Pet microchips like the ones HomeAgain and PetLink offer are typically about the size of a grain of rice. This means that they can be inserted under your pet’s skin with a special syringe, similar to a vaccination. They are so small and lightweight, your pet won’t be able to tell they are there, and they can remain inside your pet’s body for the duration of his or her life.
Microchips are different from pet trackers, which emit signals that can be picked up, sometimes from far away. The only way to read any microchip is with a microchip scanner from very close range — within a few inches of the chip. Most pet owners don’t have access to these scanners, but animal shelters and vet offices usually have them on hand.
Pet microchips don’t have batteries. They receive power from the scanner that allows them to transmit the ID number they hold. This means that a microchip from HomeAgain or PetLink can’t die over time — as long as it stays in place, it should last for as long as your pet lives.
HomeAgain vs PetLink: Why a Microchip Isn’t Enough to Keep Your Pet Safe
The bottom line is that HomeAgain and PetLink are so similar, you could choose either one without there being much difference to the service you would receive.
But getting a microchip doesn’t guarantee your pet will stay safe. There are some major limitations to microchips that you might have picked up on from the comparison above.
For one, pet owners are responsible for keeping their pets’ microchip registries up-to-date. That means that any time you move or change your contact information, you’ll have to update the registry, and some microchip companies will charge you a fee every time you want to make a change to your registry information.
And then there’s the bigger problem: A microchip won’t actually help you find your missing pet. Microchips aren’t like pet trackers — they don’t allow you to track your pet or see their location in real time. They only work after someone finds your lost pet, and only if that person knows to take them to a vet or shelter who can scan the chip.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t microchip your pet — in fact, we believe very strongly that every pet owner should get a microchip for each of their pets.
But a microchip alone won’t offer your pet maximum protection. There’s more that you can (and should) do to keep them safe.
Huan: The Pet Tracker that’s a Perfect Complement to a Microchip
In addition to whatever microchip you choose, you should get a Huan Smart Tag for every one of your pets.
Huan is a pet tracker, which means its purpose is to help you locate your pet while they’re still missing, not just after they’ve been found.
Here’s how Huan compares on all the features we looked at above.
A Huan Smart Tag costs $30. There’s no monthly fee. Once you have the tag, you can protect your pet for life.
Type of technology
Huan uses Bluetooth technology to send signals to nearby smartphones. It’s different from most pet trackers that use GPS, because GPS emits potentially harmful radiation. Huan is safe for your pet to wear 24/7 so you know they’re always protected.
Additional equipment needed
All you need to go with your Smart Tag is a smartphone and the Huan app.
Many popular pet trackers are too bulky and heavy for small dogs or cats to wear. Not the case with Huan, which offers Tiny Tags that are small and lightweight enough even for the tiniest pets.
Huan’s range is about 300 feet, which means that if your pet is lost, it will send a signal to every smartphone within 300 feet that has the Huan app installed. This means that Huan mobilizes a network of pet lovers in your community to help find your missing best friend.
Huan Smart Tags have batteries that last up to a year with continuous use.
Pet Owners Need to Protect Their Pets. Pet Owners Need Huan
There’s no way to guarantee that your pet won’t go missing. There’s also no way to guarantee that he or she will be found and have their microchip scanned.
That’s why every pet owner needs Huan.
Protect yourself (and your pet) from heartbreak before it happens. Join our pack today.