If you own a dog, the chances are that you will have heard of a little device known as a microchip. In the past, microchips have sometimes been considered as a controversial piece of technology.
However, they are now commonly accepted and the majority of dogs, and other domestic animals, will have these small devices implanted into them.
In this guide, we’re looking at whether or not you can feel a microchip in your dog, and also looking at other methods you can use to identify whether or not a dog has been microchipped.
What is a Microchip?
Before we take a look at whether or not you can feel a microchip in a dog, let’s take a look at what microchips are. Microchips are a small technological device that is usually about the size of a grain of rice.
But don’t let their small size mislead you, they contain valuable information that could potentially save your dog’s life at some point in the future.
The majority of dogs will be microchipped at some point in their life, but most dogs have it done when they are puppies. The microchip is typically injected into the space between your dog’s shoulder blades and it has its own unique number.
This number is then connected to your personal contact information which is stored on a national database alongside information about your dog, including their appearance.
Microchips are so important because, in the case of a lost dog being found, the first thing that a vet or warden will do is scan for a microchip.
It is thanks to the invention of microchips that so many lost dogs have been reunited with their owners, and in some countries, it is illegal for your dog to not be microchipped.
If a microchip is injected correctly, both you and your dog should be unable to tell it is there. It is supposed to be injected into the tight space between your dog’s shoulder blades so that it causes no discomfort but is easy to find when needed.
However, there are some cases where this can go wrong, and the microchip does not end up located in the right place.
Can you feel a Microchip in a Dog?
As we have already mentioned, if a microchip is injected correctly then you shouldn’t be able to easily feel it beneath your dog’s skin.
Microchipping is common among lots of domestic animals, and they are almost always injected between the shoulder blades. However, sometimes despite a vet’s best attempts, the microchip might end up missing its target location.
The majority of dogs will be microchipped while they are awake which opens up the opportunity for error. Some dogs may be quite wriggly, which allows the microchip to miss the desired space between the shoulder blades.
If this should happen, there is a fair chance that you will be able to feel your dog’s microchip in the area surrounding the base of their neck and shoulder blades.
The easiest way to feel for a microchip in a dog is if their microchip has been injected incorrectly. However, in a lot of cases, you will be able to feel their microchip even if it has been injected correctly.
This is not an easy task to complete, but it can be done if you need to identify if a dog has been microchipped or not.
To find a microchip using this method, you should begin by running your hands over the skin that surrounds your dog’s shoulder blades and neck. Microchips are incredibly small which can make them difficult to locate, however, their hard casing can make this task easier.
If the microchip has been injected correctly, it will be located fairly deep into your dog’s skin, so you will need to apply pressure to be able to find it.
Due to the microchip’s small size, we would recommend working methodically if you want to be able to find the microchip easier. Starting at the base of your dog’s neck, we would recommend feeling from the top of their neck through to the bottom of their shoulders.
Following that we would recommend moving slowly from left to right to increase your chance of feeling the microchip. It is possible for a dog’s microchip to move under their skin after it has been injected, so you must cover all of the area around their neck and shoulders.
But this is not a completely effective way to tell if a dog has been microchipped or not. Just because you are unable to feel their microchip does not mean that there isn’t one there.
After all, microchips are supposed to be injected deeply under your dog’s skin, so the reason that you are unable to feel it may simply be because it has been injected correctly. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the other methods you can use to see if a dog has been microchipped.
Other Methods to see if a Dog is Microchipped
So let’s take a quick look at other methods you can use to see if a dog has been microchipped. The most effective method is to scan the area surrounding their shoulder blades to be able to see if they have a microchip.
The majority of vets will be able to do this and it is the easiest way to tell if a microchip is there or not. You may also be able to tell if a runaway dog is microchipped as it might have a collar with a tag that states they have been microchipped.
Finally, another reason you may want to check for a microchip is if you knew your dog was microchipped but it suddenly stops showing up on their scan.
In the case of this, you can request an x-ray of your dog’s shoulders to be able to locate where the dog’s microchip is so that you can understand why it is no longer working.
In short, you should not be able to easily feel your dog’s microchip beneath their skin. However, with a small amount of pressure and targeted stroking you may be able to locate it.
Finally, you may also be able to feel your dog’s microchip if it hasn’t been injected deep enough beneath their skin.