Why does your dog or cat need a 15 digit microchip to travel internationally?
Your pet's microchip is their personal and unique identification.
When you travel internationally with your dog or cat, your pet passport information will contain your pet’s microchip number. This ID is used to match your pet to their travel documents, much like your passport picture matches you to your passport.
Airport and border officials will scan your dog or cat, compare their microchip number to their passport documents, and, if everything matches, allow your pet to enter or exit the country.
In the United States, we don’t require pet identification to travel from one state to another. When you move from one country to another, each country requires specific paperwork and identification for entry and exit.
To make things even more complicated, many microchips in the US use a 9 or 10 digit code, while overseas, the standard is a 15 digit code. Many scanners used internationally cannot read the 9 or 10 digit codes; they can only read the 15 digit code.
So, even though your dog or cat has a microchip, if the microchip scanner used by local officials cannot read your pet’s microchip ID, your pet will not be allowed to enter the country.
To make sure that your pet is never denied entry or exit when traveling, you have two choices:
1. Carry a personal microchip scanner that can read your pet’s microchip for local officials.
2. Insert a 15-digit microchip that meets the ISO Standards 11784/11785 and can be read by any microchip scanner worldwide.
If you decide to carry a personal scanner with you, we recommend the Datamars Compact Max scanner. It can scan all types of microchips, is small enough to fit into your carry-on luggage, and is available for rent or purchase.
If you decide that an ISO compliant microchip is the right choice for your pet, we recommend the 15 digit Datamars MicroFindr™ Slim microchip. The Swiss made Datamars microchip is reliable, high quality and complies with all international standards, so it can be read by all microchip scanners worldwide.
Either way, don't forget to remember to register your dog or cat and update your registration prior to traveling with your pet.
Note: Image Source: Datamars