Can Dog Chips Be Tracked? (8 Ways To Track A Lost Dog)

Have you ever wondered what would happen if your dog were to be lost? Can you track your dog using its dog chip? The primary purpose of a dog chip is to serve as a form of identification for dogs. These chips are tiny, just about the size of a single grain of rice.

The question of whether you can track your dog by using this chip is one that we will answer in this article. We will also be discussing alternative ways for you to track your dog if it ever gets lost.

Can Dog Chips Be Tracked?

As the primary purpose of a dog chip is to identify your dog, you cannot track the chip itself. However, if someone scans the chip in your dog, they will be able to get your dog’s identification number. With that, they can get hold of your contact details and reach out to you.

How Does A Microchip Work?

A microchip is an RFI (radio frequency identification) transponder that allows your dog to be identified. Microchips are the size of rice grains and are injected into your dog’s loose skin between its shoulder blades; the injection process is no different from a regular vaccination. 

Microchips contain unique serial numbers for each pet and the numbers of the company to which the microchips belong. The microchips can be scanned, and the information will be displayed. From there, those who scanned the microchip can contact the company and request your contact details.

Although microchips are generally placed between the shoulder blades, it does not mean that they cannot move to other parts of the body. When microchips do move around, it may be difficult for the microchip to be found and scanned. Therefore, ensure that you use other means of identifying your dog and microchips, such as name tags.

What’s The Difference Between A Microchip And A Dog Tracker?

Microchips and dog trackers differ in terms of their functionality, hardware composition, and size. While microchips are primarily used for identifying dogs, dog trackers allow you to pinpoint your dog’s location in real-time. Dog trackers are impeded with GPS functionality; hence, you can tell that microchips and dog trackers serve two completely different purposes.

For microchips and dog trackers to be able to serve the purposes mentioned above, they are built with the appropriate hardware. The hardware components used in the microchip and the dog tracker are unique components that serve a unique purpose. A microchip is composed of basic hardware that carries your dog’s identification; hence, the microchip is made up of a minuscule chip enclosed in a glass cylinder. 

The dog tracker hardware includes a GPS antenna, Led lights, speakers, a GSM module, and a sim card. As can be guessed from the various components of the microchip and the dog tracker, we can conclude that the dog tracker is larger than the microchip. While a microchip is about the size of a rice grain, a dog tracker weighs about 30g and has the following dimensions 7.2 x 2.9 x 1.6 cm. 

8 Ways To Track A Lost Dog

8 Ways To Track A Lost Dog

GPS Tracker

Tracking a dog using a GPS tracker is one of the most common and effective methods. However, this method only works if the GPS tracker is on your dog. Ensuring your dog has a GPS tracker will allow you to locate your dog in real-time. Although GPS trackers tend to be pricey, they can easily be inserted onto your dog’s collar for extra convenience.

Motion Detector

A motion detector detects and alerts you of movement that occurs beyond a certain level. This method allows you to locate your dog from quite a distance. This motion-detecting method is ideal in a highly populated area, and your dog can easily get lost in the chaos.

Call or Check Local Animal Shelters and Vets

If a considerate individual finds your pet, those individuals could take your pet to your local animal shelter. However, animal shelters will not be able to contact you without your contact details. Therefore, we suggest contacting animal shelters around you and enquiring whether your dog has been brought in.

Check Online

When you find yourself in unfamiliar territory, you should always try to educate yourself on the matter. If you lose your dog, you should go online, research, and see your options. There are several dog tracking services and advice on what to do when you have lost your dog.


If you have home security cameras, you can review your footage to get an idea of your dog’s direction. Such footage can also give you an idea of how your dog left your home. Knowing whether your dog simply wandered off or was taken by someone can change the nature of your search for them.

Use Social Media Networks

We live in a highly digitalized world, where social media has become everyone’s most common form of communication. If you lose your dog, you should post something on social media or search for posts about found pets. However, be careful when meeting up with strangers.

Report Your Dog Missing

When you notice your dog missing, you should report them as missing. This will widen the search, and should someone take your dog to a veterinarian; the veterinarian will be aware that the dog does not belong to that individual and is your missing dog.

Distribute Lost Dog Posters

Distributing lost dog posters is another way to widen the search. Letting people know that your dog is missing will make them more aware of the issue and may help you find your dog. If someone stumbles upon your missing dog, your lost dog poster will give them the information they need to contact you.

Can You Feel A Microchip In A Dog?

No, you cannot feel a microchip in a dog. The microchip will be injected between your dog’s shoulder blades, so you can imagine how small it is. Microchips are generally the size of a rice grain. Therefore, once the microchip has been injected, you will not be able to feel it.

Do Dog Chips Have GPS?

No, dog chips do not have GPS systems. Dog microchips and GPS are entirely different devices with different functionalities. While the microchip is small enough to be inserted under the dog’s skin, a GPS is much larger and has many components the microchip does not. The GPS would usually be inserted in your dog’s collar.

How Do I Scan My Dogs Microchip With My Phone?

To scan your dog’s microchip with your phone, you must connect the PetScanner to your phone. Once the app has been connected, you will also have to download the PetScanner app. After that, you should press the green button that is found in the top left corner of your screen. Beeping sounds will be emitted as you get closer to your dog’s chip, and once you are in range, the microchip will be scanned. 

Lost Dog

What Is The Range Of A Pet Microchip?

The pet microchips in the US typically use one of three possible frequencies, namely, 125 kHz, 128 kHz, and 134.2 kHz. The 125kHz is the oldest microchip version, while the 128 kHz is quite rare. To pick up all three of these frequencies, you need to ensure that you have a universal scanner.

My Dog Was Stolen And Has A Microchip

If your dog was stolen but only had a microchip and not a GPS, there is no way for you to track their location in real-time. There are several other ways to find your missing dog, one of which is reporting your dog as missing on the online registry. 

Once you have reported your dog missing and entered the necessary information, such as your dog’s identification number, you will have to wait. Hopefully, someone will find your dog and take them to have its chip scanned, and that person will then proceed to contact you.


Can A Dog Chip Be Tracked In Real Time?

No, dog chips cannot be tracked in real-time. Dog chips do not have any tracking functionality installed within them; they simply hold identification functionality. When dog chips are scanned, they allow the scanner to see your dog’s identification, and they can acquire your contact details.

Is There An App To Track Your Pets Microchip?

No, however, online registry apps allow you to repost your dog as missing. Should someone find your missing dog, take them to a veterinarian, where their dog chip will be scanned, and the veterinarian will be able to contact you.

How Can I Track My Dogs Location?

You should get a GPS installed on your dog’s collar to track your location. When the GPS is installed, you can download an app connected to your dog’s GPS that allows you to track your dog’s location in real-time.


If you lose your dog, you should not panic. Instead, you should report your dog as missing and use an online registry to enter their details so that veterinarians know that your dog is missing. If you have security cameras around your home, ensure you review the footage to understand how your dog went missing.

I suggest you proactively install a GPS in your dog’s collar so that you can instantly locate them if they were ever to go missing. However, when searching for your dog, try not to go alone and ask someone to join you for your safety.

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