OK, it's not something you need to pack, but a microchip is a good idea to implant in your furry friend before you travel. One of the major reasons you may avoid traveling with your pet is fear of losing it. But here's where you can rest a little easier. Microchips, which are slowly becoming more common for pets, can help you track down a lost pet.
The data inside microchips contains an identification number, which usually consists of nine digits if sold in the United States and 15 digits in the European Union. These microchips work off of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, and the varying amount of digits in the identification numbers indicates different radio frequencies. When you register your microchip with an agency such as the American Kennel Club, that number corresponds to your contact information. When a pet becomes lost and -- hopefully -- ends up at an animal shelter, the shelter can scan the microchip for identification information. Personnel at the shelter can then contact you and return your pet.
Pet microchips are barely larger than a grain of rice, and most vets implant them regularly into animals via hypodermic needle. Some animal shelters also offer microchipping services. Implants generally cost less than $50.