Can You Feel a Dog’s Microchip? Should You Be Able To?

A vet using a scanner to read a small dog's microchip.

When you love your pet, you want to protect him and make sure he always finds his way back home. One of the best ways to do that is to microchip your dog.

Microchipping is a common process, and it can be done to dogs and many other animals.

The microchip is inserted into the neck of the dog, and it can be scanned to provide the contact information of the owner so the dog can be returned to them safely.

Can you feel a microchip in a dog? You cannot feel a properly implanted microchip on most dogs. If the dog has thin skin and a sparse, short coat or if the microchip has moved after implantation, you may be able to feel it. It will be between the shoulder blades and should feel similar to a grain of rice.

If you have a dog and are thinking about microchipping him or her, keep reading to learn more about the benefits and the process.

Microchips in Dogs

Microchips are designed so they can’t be seen or felt. Unless a dog has thin skin and fur, they shouldn’t be noticeable when looking at or petting a dog.

A veterinarian can tell if a dog has a microchip by scanning the back of the neck.

The Purpose of Microchips in Dogs

The purpose of microchips in dogs is to be able to find the owner of the dog in the event that he is lost or to prevent the dog from being stolen and sold. 

What Information Is on a Dog Microchip?

A microchip can contain a variety of information.

The most common information includes the contact information for the owner, a description of the pet, and contact information for the dog’s veterinarian.

You can also add other information, such as a second owner’s contact information or the information of your nearest shelter.

Where Microchips Are Located in Dogs

Microchips are implanted in the subcutaneous tissue between a dog’s shoulder blades.

This is the best location because it allows the microchip to be scanned easily and prevents the dog from scratching or biting at it.

How Large Is a Dog Microchip?

Microchips are very small, and dogs do not feel them in the skin. They are about the size of a grain of rice.

How Can You Tell If a Dog Has a Chip?

The best way to tell if a dog is microchipped is to have the animal scanned by a veterinarian or shelter.

How Microchips Are Implanted in Dogs

Microchips are implanted in dogs much like a vaccine is administered.

A needle is injected into the skin, and the microchip is gently pushed out of the needle and into the subcutaneous tissue of the dog.

Can a Dog Microchip Cause a Lump?

Microchips can leave a lump at the implantation site. This lump should go away as the site heels, but some lumps do stay.

Lumps that are permanent or present for long periods of time are generally very small and similar in size to a small pea. 

Can a Microchip Move in a Dog?

Microchips are meant to stay in the location where they are implanted, but they can migrate or shift as a dog grows.

This can make it difficult for veterinarians to scan a microchip or even know if a dog has one.

Does Microchipping Hurt Dogs?

A scared black-and-tan Dachshund being held by a vet.

Microchips do not hurt dogs. Most dogs do not feel the injection of the microchip any more than they feel a vaccination shot, and those that do feel it may only feel a slight pinch.

Microchips are so small that they do not usually cause any irritation or side effects. Only in very rare cases will they4 cause infection and pain.

The Importance of Microchipping Your Dog

If you have a dog, it’s a good idea to have him microchipped. It’s a simple process and an affordable one.

There are many reasons to consider microchipping your dog, but the most obvious is that if he is ever lost, it will be easier to have him returned to you.

You never expect your dog to get lost or run away, but it can happen, and if someone finds him and takes him to a shelter or veterinarian, they will be able to scan him and find your contact information.

A microchip can also help you reunite with your pet if he is ever stolen.

Related Questions: 

How Much Does It Cost To Put a Microchip in a Dog?

The price to microchip your dog can vary, depending on the veterinarian or breeder who does it.

Some breeders and shelters will include the price of a microchip in the adoption fee or purchase price of the dog or puppy.

On average, you can expect to pay around $50 for a microchip.

Can Cats Be Microchipped?

Almost any animal can be microchipped, including cats. The microchipping purpose and process is similar for both dogs and cats. 

Final Thoughts

Microchipping is a good idea for any pet owner. It makes it easier for a veterinarian, dog pound, or shelter to reunite you with your dog if he happens to be lost or stolen.

The process is very simple, painless, and affordable, and you can have your dog microchipped at almost any veterinarian’s office.