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Got a Microchip Scanner? Here’s How to Scan Your Dog’s Microchip!

When it comes to keeping your pet safe, one of the most reliable tools is a microchip.

It’s like a little guardian that stays inside your pet, carrying information that can help them find their way back to you if they ever get lost. But what good is this tiny tech if you don’t know how to use it, right? That’s where learning to scan a microchip comes in handy. Whether you’re a pet owner, a vet, or someone who works with animals, knowing how to properly scan for a microchip can make a big difference. It’s a straightforward process, but there are a few important steps to follow to make sure you get it right.

How to Scan Dog Microchip?

Scanning a dog’s microchip is a simple process, but it does require the right approach and handling to ensure the chip is detected correctly by the scanner. First things first, you’ll need a microchip scanner. These devices are specifically designed to read the unique code stored in the chip implanted under the dog’s skin.

Here’s how to do it:

Turn on the scanner and make sure it’s fully charged or has fresh batteries. This ensures the device is working at its best and can detect the chip effectively.

Approach your dog calmly to keep them relaxed. It’s important that your dog isn’t stressed or uncomfortable, which can make the scanning process harder. You might need to pet them or offer treats to help them stay calm.

Place the scanner flat against the dog’s skin and start from the base of the neck. The microchip is usually implanted between the shoulder blades, so you’ll want to cover this area thoroughly.

Move the scanner slowly across the shoulders, and listen for a beep or watch for a flashing light that indicates the chip has been detected. Some scanners also display the microchip number on a small screen.

It’s crucial to scan the entire area around the shoulders and down the back. Sometimes, microchips can migrate a bit within the body, so they might not be exactly where you expect.

If the scanner beeps and you get a microchip number, great! You’ve successfully scanned your dog’s microchip. If not, you might need to try a few more times, ensuring you cover all potential areas where the chip might be. If you still can’t find it, the chip might be malfunctioning, or your scanner might not be compatible with the chip’s frequency (most modern scanners are universal, but older models might have limitations).

How to Scan a Dog for a Chip

how to scan a dog for a chip

Scanning a dog for a microchip can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, especially if you’re not sure the dog is chipped. It’s important to be thorough and patient during the process. Here’s what you can do to maximise your chances of finding the chip:

Ensure your scanner is compatible with all chip frequencies. This is particularly important in areas with diverse pet populations where different chip types might be more common.

Begin at the neck and slowly work your way down the dog’s back. Since microchips can migrate over time, it’s a good idea to scan the sides and even the chest and stomach areas, where chips have been found on rare occasions.

Use a methodical pattern to make sure you don’t miss any areas. For example, you can scan in a grid or spiral pattern to ensure complete coverage.

Pay attention to the dog’s reactions. If they seem particularly sensitive when you touch a spot, it might just be ticklishness—or it could be where the microchip is lodged.

Remember, even if a dog doesn’t react and the scanner doesn’t immediately beep, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a chip. Sometimes, especially with furrily or overweight dogs, getting the scanner close enough to the chip can be challenging. Keep trying, adjusting the pressure and angle of the scanner, until you’ve covered all possible areas.

How to Scan Pet Microchip

Once you’re familiar with the basics of scanning a dog, the same principles generally apply to scanning any pet with a microchip. Cats, rabbits, and even some exotic animals can also be microchipped, and knowing how to scan them properly is just as important. Different types of scanners are available on the market, but most vets and shelters use universal scanners that can read different frequencies of microchips.

Here’s how you can make sure you’re using your scanner effectively:

First, check if your scanner is set to read all frequencies. Some pets might have older or international microchips that operate at unique frequencies. Having a universal scanner helps ensure that you won’t miss any microchip because of technical compatibility issues.

Turn on the scanner and confirm it’s working correctly. A quick test scan on a known microchipped pet can help verify that the device is functioning as expected.

For smaller pets like cats or rabbits, gently hold the animal to keep them still during the scan. You may need an extra pair of hands to help soothe the pet and keep them calm.

Start scanning at the base of the animal’s neck and slowly move down towards the tail. Be thorough and move the scanner in a pattern that covers both sides of the spine. Microchips can sometimes migrate deeper into the flank or towards the belly, so it’s good to cover these areas too.

Listen for a beep or look for a visual signal from the scanner, which indicates that the microchip has been detected. Take note of the microchip number displayed and make sure to write it down accurately.

Understanding the scanner’s feedback is crucial. Some scanners beep differently or display messages that can tell you if the microchip is not functioning properly or if it has been scanned before. This can be particularly useful in shelters or veterinary offices where animals might be scanned multiple times.

How to Check for Microchip

After successfully scanning and finding a microchip, the next step is to check the microchip registration information to ensure it’s up-to-date. This is an important part of the process because a microchip is only as good as the information it links to. Here’s what you should do:

Use the microchip number you’ve obtained to look up the pet’s registration on a microchip registry website. There are several universal registries where you can enter the number and retrieve the owner’s contact information.

If the pet is not registered or the information is outdated, try to contact the microchip manufacturer or the place where the microchip was implanted. They might have records that can help you trace the pet back to its owner.

Encourage pet owners to update their contact information in the microchip registry. It’s a simple step that can make a huge difference if their pet ever gets lost. They should check and update their details whenever they move house or change phone numbers.

In cases where a microchip isn’t detected during your initial scan, there are a few steps you can follow:

Recheck your scanner’s settings to ensure its functioning correctly and set it to detect all microchip frequencies.

Repeat the scanning process, ensuring you cover all areas of the pet’s body thoroughly. Sometimes, a second pass can pick up a chip that was missed initially due to angle or depth issues.

Consider that not all pets are microchipped. If you’re involved in rescue work or manage a shelter, it might be a good idea to microchip the animals in your care if they are not already chipped.

Can You Scan a Microchip with Your Phone?

Can you scan a pet’s microchip with your smartphone? The idea sounds convenient, especially in a pinch, but let’s look at what’s really possible and practical.

First off, standard smartphones alone can’t read pet microchips. That’s because microchips don’t work like QR codes or barcodes, which you can scan using a phone’s camera. Microchips need a special scanner that can pick up the radio frequency identification (RFID) signals they emit.

However, there are some gadgets and apps available that claim to turn your smartphone into a microchip scanner. These typically involve an external device that connects to your phone and uses an app to display the microchip information. While these can be handy, they often don’t offer the same level of reliability and range as dedicated microchip scanners.


Scanning a pet’s microchip can seem a bit daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really straightforward. Whether you’re a pet owner keeping your info up-to-date, or someone who helps lost pets find their way home, knowing how to properly scan for a microchip is an invaluable skill. Remember, the goal here is to keep our furry friends safe and sound, and a big part of that is ensuring they can always be identified. So grab that scanner, practise these steps, and let’s make sure every pet has a way back home. Why not take a moment today to double-check your pet’s microchip information? It’s a small step that can make a huge difference.

Peeva: Where Lost Pets Find Their Way Home

Transform your pet’s microchip into a lifeline. 24/7 phone support and lost pet alerts ensure your pet gets the help they need, when they need it.

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