How to find a microchipped cat or dog?

It is much easier to find a cat or dog if it has a microchip. A dog warden, a vet or even an animal shelter will be able to scan the pet’s microchip and contact its owners. But can you also geolocate your lost animal with their microchip?

In this article, you will find tips to find your lost microchipped cat or dog.

Reading time : 5 min

In the UK, it is mandatory under English law that you microchip your dog. Cats however do not have to be microchipped, even though it is highly recommended. Pets must also be registered on a microchip database with their information frequently updated.

So why is microchipping your pet so important? Can you use a microchip to locate and find your lost cat or dog? A lot of question that you might be asking yourself about the importance of identifying and registering your animal.


Registering your pet on a UK online database

Registering your pet on a database is not only essential but also mandatory. If your pet were to get lost, a vet or animal warden could easily identify your animal by scanning its microchip and reunite you with your lost cat or dog. A microchip also proves that you are your pet’s rightful owner in the event of a dispute. Your name and contact information will be linked to your pet’s microchip. It is therefore very important to register and update your contact information on a microchip database like Animal Microchips, Animal Tracker, MicroDogID or Pet Identity UK.

Why is microchipping your animal important?

A pet microchip is an animal’s ID card. The unique identification number assigned to a dog or cat gives the animal an official status. Moreover, for the owners, it certifies that the pet in their possession is indeed their own.

In event of a dispute, or if someone wants to adopt an animal without the owner’s agreement, they can assert their rights to the animal.

On the other hand, the dog or the cat’s identification number is used to easily find the owner's details. Veterinarians and animal wardens can identify the animals found and read the information contained in the microchip. The next step is to notify the owners that their pet has been found.

A microchipped dog is more likely to be reunited with its owner. Likewise, a runaway cat will more easily be found if it has been microchipped.

The importance of updating your information

It is essential to keep the information about your cat or dog up to date, just like your contact details. In the event of a transfer of the pet, both in return for payment and free of charge, it is important to take the steps to change ownership. Because if the animal were to run away and cause an accident, the responsibility would fall on the first owner of the animal who did not declare the transfer of the animal.

Steps to follow to find a lost animal

It is important to remember that a microchip will be crucial in finding your pet. Every dog warden or vet will need to scan a microchip to find a lost animal’s owner.

Contacting the Animal Warden

Dog wardens are in charge of any strays, primarily dogs but they nowadays have to deal more and more with other animals. If the Dog Warden has found your pet, they will first scan their microchip to find your information and contact you. They are required to keep strays for up to 7 days before rehoming the animal.

You can find the Dog Warden’s information through the Environmental Department of your local council.

Contacting your local veterinary clinic

If someone has found your lost pet, their first reflex might be to bring it to the nearest vet or veterinary clinic. Even more so if the animal is injured. The veterinarian will be able to scan the microchip and get in contact with you.

Find out the 5 most important steps to follow to find your lost cat or dog

All the information you need to know so you never lose your beloved companion

Is there a GPS tracker in a microchip?

A common misconception about microchips is that you can geolocate your animal with them. This theory is simply not true. A microchip centralises information but is not a GPS tracker as it does not have the technology.

Microchip vs GPS tracker

The microchip is an implant no larger than a grain of rice between the shoulder blades under the skin. The microchip contains information about the pet that can be scanned by a vet or animal warden using Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

The GPS tracker, on the other hand, is a GPS receiver but also a mobile phone transmitter that allows location information to be transmitted via a smartphone for example. Such a device requires the presence of a battery. However, a battery has a defined lifespan which requires replacement every 5 years or so. Also, GPS trackers often have an integrated SIM card. As a result, this technology does not currently appear to be suitable for a microchip implanted under the skin of a cat or dog.

So how can you find a microchip dog? You cannot geolocate a microchipped dog. But investing in a GPS tracker will give the owners real peace of mind.

Never lose your animal with a GPS tracker

A GPS tracker is a box containing all the technology that allows you not to lose your dog or cat. Attached to the collar, its small size and lightweight ─ about 25 grams ─ provide security for the pet without disturbing it. A downloadable app via a smartphone allows the owner to be permanently connected to the GPS chip in the tracker.

Different features to keep your animal safe

The different features of the GPS tracker considerably reduce the risk of losing your cat or dog. With unlimited distance tracking in real-time, the owner is immediately informed of his pet’s exact location.

Besides, safety zones can be set up so that if the dog tries to run away from the defined area, the owner receives an instant alert on his phone and can go and get his pet quickly. From his phone, the radar, map and compass guide the owner to find the dog easily or to go and get the injured feline, for example, unable to return on his own.

Finally, a feature offers the possibility of training your pet to recall. All you have to do is set off a bell or a vibration while the cat is eating. By dint of repetition, it will associate the two actions. When the cat is late in returning home, triggering the ringing or vibration mode is enough to see it return to eat.

Many owners do not necessarily see the necessity of having their pet microchipped. Yet identification protects them as much as it protects their cat or dog. But beyond that, it is proven to be a significant help in the search for their missing pet.

However, the microchip does not work miracles and is certainly not capable of geolocating a lost animal. GPS collars for cats and dogs are very effective in locating animals, as their technology now allows precise tracking.