It’s every pet owner’s nightmare: You’re looking for your pet, calling their name, and you can’t find them. Did they get out somehow? They must have — but what are you going to do now?
This is the reality for millions of pet owners each year. A study by the ASPCA showed that in a five-year period, 15 percent of pet owners had a pet go missing — a total of nearly 13 million over the five years, or more than 2.5 million each year.
That’s why it’s so important for pet owners to have a plan for how they’ll protect their pet from getting lost — and ensure they’ll be reunited if they ever do go missing.
Microchips are one solution that has been widely embraced by veterinarians and animal shelters. They’re a common, popular, and affordable way to give your pet some protection in case they ever get lost. But if you’re considering getting a microchip for your pet, should you use petkey, or HomeAgain — two of the most popular options on the market?
We’re here to help you compare these two microchip companies so you can choose the product that will be the best — and safest — for you and your pet. But know that while a microchip is a great step toward protecting your furry best friend, it’s not the best protection you can offer them. There’s another tool you need to keep your pets safe — but more on that below. First, let’s look at how petkey and HomeAgain compare.
petkey vs HomeAgain: Which Microchip Is Better?
petkey and HomeAgain actually provide two extremely similar products.
Both of them are pet microchipping companies, which means they supply and register tiny microchips that you can have permanently inserted under your pet’s skin. Once the microchip is inserted, its ID number can be registered along with your contact information (and, in some cases, important medical information for your pet). That means, if your lost pet gets found and has its microchip scanned, all the important information in the registry, including your contact information, can be pulled up.
Pet owners consider a lot of features when choosing products like microchips for their pets. Here are some of the features you might consider, and how petkey and HomeAgain compare in each of them.
Neither petkey nor HomeAgain makes it very clear on their website what their different pricing tiers include. But at a glance, HomeAgain seems to be the more affordable of these two microchips, with a lifetime registration membership available for just $19.99, compared to $45 for a lifetime membership with petkey.
It’s important to remember, though, that pet owners can’t buy and insert microchips themselves. You’ll have to have your vet or another trained professional do it. Many animal shelters offer low-cost microchipping events, but costs will vary to have the chip inserted, especially if you opt to have it done at a vet’s office.
Type of Technology
Both petkey and HomeAgain use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. This is the same technology used in the chip in a contactless debit or credit card. It is not electronic, has no battery, and emits no signal. It can only store a small amount of information — in this case, the ID number for the microchip registry that will contain your pet’s information.
Additional Equipment Needed
Microchips can only be read with a specialized scanner, and there are different types of scanners for different microchips. Universal scanners exist, but they tend to be very expensive.
It’s not common for pet owners to have their own microchip scanners. However, most veterinary offices and animal shelters have scanners on hand to help reunite lost pets with their owners.
Size and Weight
A microchip, including the ones made by petkey and HomeAgain, is extremely small — usually about the size of a single grain of rice. This allows them to be inserted under your pet’s skin with a special needle, similar to a vaccine.
Contrary to what a lot of people believe, microchips do not allow you to track your pet because they don’t emit a signal. They can only be scanned at very close range — within a few inches of a microchip scanner.
Pet microchips don’t require continuous power, so they don’t have batteries. They receive enough power from a scanner to transmit their information when scanned. That means that with either petkey or HomeAgain, your pet’s microchip should last their entire life.
petkey vs HomeAgain: Is a Microchip Enough to Keep Your Pet Safe?
Here’s what happens if your pet gets lost, and has a microchip.
First, you have no way to see where your lost pet is. You can’t track them via their microchip. So you have to resort to the old-fashioned ways of trying to find your pet: Searching on foot, putting up fliers, and posting ads wherever you can in hopes that someone who has seen your pet will reach out.
If your pet gets found and the person who finds them knows about microchips, they might take it to be scanned. At that point, your contact information will be retrieved — provided it’s up to date. With some microchips, you have to pay every time you update your pet’s registration, which means every time you move or your contact information changes.
Of course, this is only if the person who found your pet gets their chip scanned. If they don’t know how microchips work, or if they just decide to keep your pet, you may never know.
This is why microchips are a good safeguard to have, but they’re not enough on their own to protect your pet from getting lost.
Huan: The Pet Tracker You Need Alongside Your Microchip
Here’s what happens if your pet gets lost wearing a Huan Smart Tag.
If they’re still nearby, you can open up the Huan app on your smartphone and see exactly where they are. If they’ve gone out of range of your smartphone, you can mark them as missing, so when they go in range of another Huan user, they’ll get a notification that your lost pet is nearby. This will happen any time your pet is within range of a Huan user’s smartphone until they get found. In the meantime, you can look for your pet, and you’ll know if you get close to them, because your Huan app will notify you.
In other words, Huan is just the tool pet owners need to protect their pets better than a microchip can.
Here’s how Huan stacks up in all the features we looked at above.
Huan Smart Tags cost just $30. There are no memberships, no fees, and no renewals.
Type of Technology
Huan uses bluetooth technology, which can send signals to any nearby bluetooth enabled device. Unlike GPS pet trackers, Huan Smart Tags don’t emit any radiation that could potentially harm your pet.
Additional Equipment Needed
All you need to pick up a Huan Smart Tag signal is your smartphone, with the Huan app installed.
Size and Weight
At just a fraction of an ounce and less than an inch in diameter, Huan Smart Tags are small enough for any cat or dog to wear, unlike some of the popular pet trackers on the market that are too big and bulky for tiny dogs, puppies, and kittens.
Huan Smart Tags have a range of about 300 feet, which means any smartphone with the Huan app installed within that range will get a notification that your missing pet is nearby. Huan is the only pet tracker that connects you with an entire community of pet lovers to help keep your pet safe.
Huan Smart Tags come equipped with long-lasting batteries that can last up to a year with continuous use.
Prevent Heartbreak — Protect Your Pet with Huan
There’s nothing any pet owner can do to guarantee their pet will never go missing. What they can do is get the right tools to make sure they can find their pet — quickly and safely.
Don’t count on a microchip alone. Get the pet tracker that will help you find your lost pet: Get Huan.