Pet Microchip vs Pet GPS Tracker: What's the difference?

Jiobit for Pets
January 7, 2022
Mariah Gura
The Jiobit Blog
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Losing a beloved pet is a heartbreaking situation many people face, yet try to avoid at all costs. In fact, each year, around 10 million pets in the U.S are lost. Having a safety plan in place before bringing home a new furry family member is an important step to take. Ensuring they have a microchip implant, and an ID tag that is up-to-date is a good start, but is that enough? 

Although this may increase your chances of being reunited with your pet, it will not give you their location data. You are not able to see where they were, where they’re heading, or their current location. Oftentimes, it can also be easy to forget to update your contact information associated with the animal's microchip or ID tag, in the event you move to a new home address or your phone number changes. Microchips may not work exactly how you think they do.

How do microchips work?

A small chip gets inserted between your pet's shoulder blades with a unique registration number assigned to it. When relying on a microchip as a primary safety precaution, the pet needs to be picked up, brought into a shelter, veterinarian clinic, or animal control agency, and scanned for the microchip. From there, if the pet has a microchip, the pet’s owner can be identified and contacted, considering all information is up to date. The microchip must be registered, and the scanner has to be capable of detecting it. Meaning, to accurately identify the owner, the scanner must be able to read the chip’s frequency. Not all scanners are universal and can read all three microchip frequencies. 

How do GPS trackers work?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It delivers locations in longitude, latitude, and altitude. This kind of technology can give you the location of your pet, child, or any loved one, for that matter. Jiobit’s patented Progressive Beaconing technology sets us apart from other tracking devices. Using a unique combination of Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, and cellular, your pet can be located anywhere in the U.S, regardless of Bluetooth connection. Some GPS devices, such as Jiobit, connect directly to an app that can be downloaded on your smartphone. This allows you to check up on their location at any time, at any distance.

Microchipping your pet is NOT the same as tracking them. In fact, technology is limited to developing an implanted GPS microchip. In other words - it doesn’t exist. The American Kennel Club states “GPS devices and microchips aren’t substitutes for each other; they’re complementary”. The right tracking device can pinpoint where your pet took off to. Using a GPS pet tracker, you’re able to bring them home safe and sound on your own terms, and as quickly as possible.

Pictured: Jiobit Pet GPS Tracker

Where is my pet now?

The good news is that with the right GPS tracking device, you can pinpoint your pet’s location at any time, and at any distance. Below are features to consider when looking for a pet gps tracker

  1. Real-Time Location Updates: If your pet is on the go (or run for that matter) you’ll want location updates every few seconds. Having a feature such as Live Mode is crucial to getting them home as soon as possible. Bluetooth tracking devices (e.g. Tile, Apple AirTag) cannot provide real-time location updates. Therefore, network technology is something else to consider before purchasing a tracker. 
  2. Geofence Alerts: Accidents happen. Hopefully, someone didn’t leave the front door open walking in or out of the house. If this is the case, receiving timely alerts that your pet escaped is important so you can start tracking them immediately. With custom geofencing within the Jiobit app, get Trusted Place notifications when they come or go from any place you choose. 
  3. Tracking History: Curious what your pet was up to? Features like Timeline allow you to see 7 consecutive days of detailed location history to look back at your pet’s whereabouts.
  4. Location Sharing: Our pets are pretty much our kids, right? It takes a village. Creating a Care Team within the Jiobit app not only allows you to know where they are but who they are with as well. Invite pet sitters, family, friends, or any trusted person to the app.
  5. Proximity alerts: Keep them close, and know if they wander off. If you are traveling, playing at a dog park, heading to the vet, whatever the case may be, knowing they are always near is great peace of mind. Jiobit’s Bluetooth Alert feature, which we think of as a “virtual leash”, will send you a notification if they are out of range.  

How can I keep my pet safe?

There are several preventative measures that can be taken to make sure your pet is safe and in the right place. 

  • Explore on a secure leash, collar, or harness.
  • Ensure the pet’s ID tags are up-to-date with your contact information.
  • Microchip your pet AND register the microchip 
  • Use a reliable pet GPS tracker 

Bottom Line:

Ideally, the number of pets that go missing each year in the U.S would be zero, not ten million. Accidents happen though, and if they do go missing, you want to bring them home as quickly and safely as possible.

While it's a smart idea to microchip your pet, and even required in many states, it will not provide your pet's location when you need it the most. With the use of a pet GPS tracker, you are able to proactively monitor your pet's location to make sure they are where they are supposed to be! We recommend using both a microchip and a pet GPS tracker so you can keep track of what matters most, no matter the distance.

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Bring home the award-winning location monitor today, and keep track of those who matter most.



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