How to See If a Dog Has a Microchip

Microchips can help reunite lost dogs with their owners.
i Lost puppy. image by Catabu from

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

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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