Pet Shop Owner Tech Guide: Are QR Codes Replacing Microchip ID-ing for Pets?

Are you running a pet shop? Are you still microchipping your pets for identification? If so, you may want to learn other more convenient methods of pet identification. Read on.

Pet shop owner

QR codes, or “Quick Response” bar codes, have gained much popularity in recent years. These codes can be affixed to anything from a bottle of salad dressing to pricing cards and magazine advertisements. Now, this technology is being integrated into pet identification tags and collars.

Quick Response codes are essentially a two-dimensional bar code, originally created in Japan for the purpose of tracking car parts. Now in the pubic domain, developers everywhere have taken the technology and incorporated it into a huge array of applications. One of those areas of application is the pet industry. The idea of incorporating QR codes into pet collars is an extension of the idea of microchipping your pet as a way of having your pet safely returned to you should he go missing. When the code is scanned with a smart phone or other smart device by the person who finds the animal, identifying data will be returned to their device that will allow them to contact you and safely return your pet to you.

This is seen as an improvement over microchipping. With microchip technology, the animal must be taken somewhere that has a scanner in order for the information to be read. Typically, this would require the pet being taken to a veterinarian’s office or shelter. If your animal is found by a stranger, he may be reluctant to take a strange animal into their car and drive them to find a lace that has a scanner. That may mean that your animal is not returned to you as soon as he could be.

QR codes have many benefits in their favour. They are quick, easy to use, and easy to locate on the animal. They typically come in two forms:

Pet ID tags

These look much like any other tag you’d find on a dog’s collar. They can be made from a variety of materials, including plastic, stainless steel, and laminated paper.

Smart pet ID tag
photo credit: Gadget Flow


Some companies off the collars that have the QR code directly embedded into it, not on a separate tag hanging from it. This is seen by many as being better than the ID tags because there is no need to approach the dog’s mouth to read the tag, which may be dangerous. With collar-embedded QR codes, the collar itself can be scanned at a great distance.


There are many benefits of QR codes over other electronic components. As mentioned, because they can be scanned with smart mobile device rather than a specialized scanner, virtually anyone can scan the pet. This can lead to the quicker return of the animal to its rightful owner. In addition, any QR code reader can scan the tag, as they are in a common format.

With microchips, the type of chip will dictate which particular type of scanner is required to read it. QR codes are also affordable and accessible. There are many places to get tags and collars that are embedded with this technology, and it’s easy to set up the code to contain your information. Finally, the information on a QR code is easily updatable, so if you move or if your phone number changes, for example, it’s easy to update your information on the code.

If you are a pet shop owner looking for a way to keep your pets save, consider purchasing a tag or collar embedded with QR technology.

For more information on a variety of types of electronic components, visit