How to See If a Dog Has a Microchip

Microchips can help reunite lost dogs with their owners.

Microchips can help reunite lost dogs with their owners.

The use of microchips to identify lost dogs and their owners has become increasingly popular. If you find a stray or abandoned dog and would like to locate his owner, start by checking to see if he has a microchip.

Identify the Presence of a Microchip

Use a stud finder. As crazy as it might sound, experiments have proven that common household stud finders do identify the presence of a microchip underneath a dog’s skin. While a stud finder cannot interpret the information linked to a dog’s microchip, it can alert you to the presence of a chip.

Call a local veterinary office, rescue group or animal shelter and ask if it has a universal microchip scanner. Not all microchip scanners are created equally. Some scanners will identify only certain brands of microchips, whereas universal scanners are able to recognize microchips from multiple manufacturers.

Take the dog to be scanned for a microchip. Once you have identified a local animal shelter or humane organization that uses a universal scanner, take the dog to that location and have him scanned for the presence of a microchip.

Items you will need

  • Stud finder
  • Telephone


  • If the dog was scanned using a non-universal scanner, take him to another veterinary office or shelter to be scanned again with a different scanner.

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About the Author

Kristina Barroso is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, a break-up survival guide, in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.

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