Can You Track Your Dog with a Microchip

In today’s rapidly advancing technological landscape, ensuring the safety of our beloved pets has taken a sophisticated turn. From traditional collars and ID tags, we have transitioned into a realm where microchips are becoming the norm for pet identification. But with new technology comes a myriad of misconceptions and questions. One prevalent query pet owners grapple with is: “Can I track my dog using a microchip?” This article delves into the intricacies of microchipping, illuminating its capabilities, advantages, and constraints. Let’s embark on this informative journey to decipher the true capabilities of microchips and how they fit into the broader spectrum of pet safety.

Understanding Microchipping

Microchipping has become a common practice among pet owners. Essentially, a microchip is a tiny device, about the size of a grain of rice, which is implanted under a pet’s skin. Every microchip holds a distinct identification code provided by Microchipping companies that can be detected with a specific scanner.

The Purpose of Microchips

The primary purpose of microchipping is to provide a permanent method of identification for pets. If a lost pet is found and taken to a vet clinic or shelter, the microchip can be scanned to reveal the unique ID number. This number is linked to a database containing the pet owner’s contact details, facilitating a swift reunion.

Microchipping vs. GPS Tracking

Many people often conflate microchipping with GPS tracking, but they serve different functions.


These are passive devices that do not emit a signal. They only provide information when scanned by an appropriate device.

GPS Trackers: 

These are active devices that can provide real-time location information. They communicate via satellite or cellular networks to provide the location of the pet to the owner’s phone or computer.

In simpler terms, while microchips aid in identification once a pet is found, GPS trackers actively provide the pet’s location when lost.

Benefits of Microchipping Your Dog

– Permanent Identification: 

Unlike temporary solutions like tags or collars that can deteriorate or get lost, microchips are embedded under the skin, providing a durable and lasting means of identification for your dog’s entire life.

– Widespread Acceptance: 

The majority of veterinary clinics and shelters are equipped with microchip scanners. This universal adoption ensures that, in the event a pet goes missing, the chances of identification and return are significantly higher.

– Increased Reunion Rates:

Data consistently points towards one fact: microchipped dogs stand a much better chance of being reunited with their families. Their presence acts as a critical link in bridging lost pets with anxious owners.

– Peace of Mind: 

Beyond the practical aspects, there’s an emotional comfort in knowing your pet has a microchip. It offers an extra layer of security, assuring owners that their pets have a lasting form of identification.

Limitations of Microchipping

– Not a Tracking System: 

Microchips are identification tools, not locators. Unlike GPS devices, they won’t show your pet’s current location. Instead, they store identification data that can be read when scanned.

– Database Dependence: 

The utility of a microchip is tied to its associated database. If the database isn’t updated or lacks accurate owner information, the microchip’s value diminishes. Regular updates by pet owners are crucial to maximise its benefit.

– Variability in Scanners: 

Compatibility can sometimes be an issue. Different brands or outdated scanner models might not always detect every microchip, which underscores the importance of periodic checks and standardisation in the industry.

Considerations for Optimal Pet Safety

While microchipping is invaluable, pet safety often necessitates a multi-pronged approach.

– Combine with Traditional Tags: 

While microchips provide in-depth identification, there’s an immediacy to traditional ID tags. A quick glance at a collar tag can provide vital contact details, making it a swift solution for anyone who finds a lost pet, even if they don’t have access to a microchip scanner.

– Consider GPS Collars: 

In an era of advancing technology, GPS collars serve as proactive trackers. For pet owners with adventurous or curious pets, these collars relay real-time location data, offering insights into their pet’s whereabouts and ensuring they never wander too far without notice.

– Regular Vet Checkups: 

Beyond general health, routine visits to the veterinarian ensure the microchip’s integrity. Professionals can verify its position, ensuring it remains in place and functions as intended, safeguarding your pet’s link to home.

– Education and Awareness: 

It’s essential for pet owners to familiarise themselves with how microchipping works and its benefits. By attending local seminars, joining pet owner forums, or engaging with veterinarians, owners can stay updated on the latest advancements and best practices related to pet identification and safety. Being informed empowers owners to make the best decisions for their pets.

In Conclusion

Microchipping offers a robust method of identifying lost pets, significantly increasing the chances of a happy reunion. However, it’s imperative to understand that a microchip is not a tracking device. For those seeking real-time location information, investing in GPS tracking solutions is recommended. Nevertheless, microchipping remains a cornerstone of responsible pet ownership, ensuring that even if a furry friend goes on an unexpected adventure, there’s a higher likelihood they’ll find their way back home.