Can you feel a microchip in a dog?

Do you know what a microchip for dogs and cats does? Can you feel a microchip in a dog? To answer these questions, this blog post will give a brief introduction about microchips and what are their benefits and harms.

Can I feel a microchip in a dog?

It is usually not possible to feel the microchip as it is a very small structure. However, in some animals it is possible to feel a small structure the size of a grain of rice in the scapular region.

What is an animal microchip?

The microchip for dogs and cats is a way to identify the pet in an effective and safe way. A microchip is an electronic chip, about the size of a grain of rice, implanted under the skin, usually in the scapular region.

The dog microchip contains a unique and unalterable code. However, it cannot track the location of the animal via GPS. The microchip does not need energy, it remains inert throughout the animal’s life and is only activated when stimulated by a reader.

Benefits of microchipping a dog

Benefits of using the microchip in dogs:

  • No battery is required, as the chip is only activated by the specific reader;
  • The microchip is unique and individual and cannot be lost;
  • It has long durability;
  • There is no maintenance;
  • It’s easy to install.

The chip after its introduction between the dog’s shoulder, the microchip becomes inert. It doesn’t need a battery or anything to charge it. When approaching the microchip reader in the region of implantation, the microchip is activated showing the code by which it is possible to access the individual dog information.

Before the microchip, dogs were identified by tattoos, piercings and even identification collars. But the big problem with these methods was that they could be easily lost.

The microchip has a unique number being individual for each dog. The chances of the animal losing this chip are minimal, as the microchip is located under the animal’s skin. Unlike other identification methods, the microchip can also be read universally, it is just necessary to have a microchip reader.

The microchip has an unlimited duration. In dogs it can stay for the rest of the animal’s life. In some rare cases the microchip may have a defect, but it is very rare. Thus, the microchip is the most efficient method of identification for dogs and has a long durability.

After microchipping dogs, no maintenance is required. Defective microchips are rare. The interscapular region is an excellent region for chip installation as it is a region that does not receive much friction.

The microchip is implanted by a veterinarian, its simple installation does not require a surgical environment, much less anesthesia. In a matter of minutes the microchip is implanted in the dogs.

Some negative points of using the microchip in dogs:

  • Not all vets or clinics have the reader;
  • Some animals may show a reaction;

One of the biggest negative points is that not all veterinary clinics have a microchip reader. That way, if a dog gets lost from its owner, and is found by one of these clinics, it will unfortunately not be identified by the absence of the reader.

That’s why the use of identification collars on dogs is indicated, even if the dogs already have a microchip. Because in situations of loss of the dog, with the identification collar, at least the dog has the chance to be identified by people or clinics that do not have a microchip reader.

Some dogs may have a tissue reaction at the microchip application site, but this can be easily resolved by following the instructions of the veterinarian who applied the microchip.

In general, dogs have no adverse effect from the microchip, however, it can happen that the dog’s body rejects the microchip. In these cases, dogs that show any symptoms should consult a veterinarian immediately.

Even with these negative points, the positive points of using microchips make it suitable for all dogs. That way, at the same time, stray dogs have a chance to be identified. 

For tutors who wish to travel internationally with the dog, it is necessary to have a health certificate, all vaccines up to date, dogs deworming and the dog must have a microchip identification.


In this blog post, we were able to find out more about the use of microchips in dogs. We could observe the great benefits such as being a type of individual identification, unique for a dog that cannot be lost and that does not need maintenance or battery for its functioning. This microchip lasts the entire life of the dog. No matter how easy it is to install, some dogs may have a reaction at the application site. Even though it is rare, some dogs may reject the microchip in this way, requiring emergency consultation with a veterinarian. Microchips are an excellent way of identifying dogs and their great benefits outweigh the negative points of their application, thus being suitable for all dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can I feel a microchip in a dog?

How does the microchip work in animals?

Microchipping dogs involves placing a small electronics chip the size of a grain of rice under the skin. It is implanted in a simple procedure by a veterinarian who uses a needle to place the microchip in the scapular region.

How does a microchip for dogs work?

The device has its own reader that scans the signal emitted by the chip through a low radio frequency. As soon as the scanner recognizes the code, the animal’s information appears on the device’s display.


Bernardi, F., & Soto, F. R. M. (2009). Experiência da implantação do registro geral animal com identificação não permanente e microchip, em cães e gatos no município de Ibiúna, SP, Brasil. Revista Ciência em Extensão, 5(1), 37-42.

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