Did you find a dog and need to know if it has a microchip? There are many ways that you can find a microchip in dogs. If this dog does have a microchip, it will be very easy to return it to its owner. 

Sometimes it can be very hard to find where they are located in a dog. These are a few ways that you can find where the microchip is located and how to get this lost dog back to its owner.

What is a Microchip?

A microchip is a small implant that is located under your dog’s skin that is an identifying integrated circuit. 

This chip uses passive radio-frequency identification technology known as a PIT tag. This tag has a unique number that can be picked up by a microchip scanner so that if your dog is lost, they can be returned to their owner.

What is the purpose of a microchip? Once your dog has been implanted with a microchip, you are given information on the number and how to register the chip with your contact information.

 If your dog is ever lost, the person who finds your dog can bring them to a shelter, vet clinic, or animal control officer to scan the dog. 

They can enter the number into AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool to figure out who the chip is registered to and get your pet back to you.

How to Tell if a Dog is Microchipped

When a microchip is implanted in a dog, it is placed in between the shoulder blades. Many times, this is done when the dog is a puppy. As your dog grows, these chips can migrate to different areas of the body. They commonly move down the front legs or up and down the back.

Microchips can therefore move around in dogs as they grow. These small chips have been found in many different locations on a dog’s body even though they were implanted in between the shoulders. 

There are a few ways that you can locate the microchip in your dog; these are some of the most common ways:

You Can Feel the Chip

If a dog is at a healthy weight, you can commonly feel the microchip under the skin. It will feel like a large grain of rice. If your dog is heavily muscled or fatter, this can be very hard to feel. 

With some dogs that are very fit, you can still have a hard time finding the chip by just feeling. This is not a good reliable way to tell if your dog has a microchip or not.

Use a Microchip Scanner

If you cannot manually feel a chip in a dog, it would be best to use a microchip scanner to find the chip. This would also tell you the microchip number so you could look up the owner if they were lost.

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There are many microchip scanners that you can use, but you should make sure that the scanner that you have is a universal scanner that will detect any chip possible.

 Some scanners will only check for one type of chip. You should wave the scanner at first in between the shoulder blades; if nothing is found, then you should continue up and down each leg and all over the body until a chip is located. 

If you do not find a chip with a universal scanner, most likely, your dog does not have a chip.

A universal scanner can tell if a dog is microchipped. Source: Author Sternrenette  Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A universal scanner can tell if a dog is microchipped. Source: Author Sternrenette  Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Trouble Finding Microchip in Dogs 

If you know that the dog has a chip but cannot find it, the best thing to do is take an x-ray of your dog. All microchips will show up as metal objects on the x-ray.

In very rare instances, a microchip can migrate out of your dog. Your dog’s body may think that the microchips as a foreign object and push them out, or your dog may have gotten a cut over the microchip, causing it to fall out.

Alternatives to Microchips 

Some dog owners look for alternatives to microchips, but these alternatives may not be as good as microchips. 

For instance, wearing a collar with ID tags has its flaws. A collar is not as permanent as a microchip. A collar can easily get broken or removed by whoever finds your dog.

 If you have an expensive dog breed, a microchip will allow you to have permanent identification for your dog if any legal issues happen over the ownership of the pet. While a collar is also a great thing to keep on your dog, a microchip is something that cannot get removed or lost.

Another option is a GPD tracking device. There are GPS tracking devices that you can put on your dog’s collar, and these can usually get you to the general location, but are not accurate to give you a precise pinpoint location. 

This is good for large wooded or farm areas as you would then be able to call your dog’s name or see them in these areas. Some large cities have GPS locations with such a wide range that would still leave you searching every floor of buildings and a few blocks to find your dog.

Final Thoughts

If your dog ever gets lost, having a microchip will give your dog more than 20 times a chance of being returned.

 The first thing many people do when they find a lost pet is to take them to the nearest vet or shelter to be scanned for a microchip. With social media and microchips, many lost pets find their way back home. 

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