Can You Track Your Dog With a Microchip? (Solved & Explained!)

You should have named your dog Houdini. It often escapes and disappears, to your dismay. You’ve tried many things already to get your dog to stop fleeing, but all your efforts have been for naught. You know your dog has a microchip.

So, you may wonder, “Can you track your dog with a microchip?” No, unfortunately that’s not how it works. Microchips incorporate RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. So, it only stores data about the dog’s information including health records, address and the owner’s name.

But, there are other options to track your dog if it plays Houdini on the regular. For instance, you could invest in a GPS mechanism if you’re looking for a high-tech solution to this problem. But, there are others too like motion sensors, cameras and/or good old fashioned tags with obedience training.

Microchip vs GPS

Microchips and GPS (or global positioning system) trackers are two completely different sets of technology. Basically, a microchip will allow you to locate your dog after someone found it and GPS gives you the option to see where your dog is in real time.

A microchip goes under the skin and stores data about the dog. This allows someone with a scanner to see to whom the dog belongs and its health conditions. A GPS tracker allows you to see where your dog is in action. At this time, there isn’t a GPS tracker for under the skin. GPS signals mean there are electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) involved.

This would have to be quite strong for it to work along with having a GSM module, LED light and an antenna. Not only is this far too bulky to put under the skin, but it also presents some health issues. Many studies reveal how strong emissions of EMFs can cause bone and brain cancer along with DNA damage; especially in children and pets.

Tracking Tools

You have several options available for tracking a furry artful dodger. But, you should understand why your dog keeps running away in the first place. This will be the best way to decide which method is best.

GPS Tracker

One of the most efficient technologies for tracking dogs is GPS. However, this tends to be quite expensive and the technology is still in its infancy. But, many owners report great success.

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However, it is possible for the dog to lose or destroy it when they get excited and run off. Even if it comes pre-inserted into a collar, the collar can rip, break or tear.

Motion Sensors

There is a world of motion sensors for tracking your dog. You can affix devices either to the dog or to various areas of your property. When there’s movement at a certain distance or outside a specified parameter, it will sound an alarm. But understand that these will only work to catch the dog early on, not midflight.


While you can’t use a camera to actually track your dog in real time like a GPS tracker, they do offer a way for you to see what inspired the dog to run and where the it exited the premises. This will at least give you a good idea on which areas to search and decide what the next steps should be.

Also, you can network your cameras in such a way so they turn on automatically when the motion sensors go off. This way you can catch your pooch early on.

Dog Tags & Training

While dog tags and training doesn’t offer a real-time way to find your dog, tags are the surest way to help your pooch get back home. If animal control or some other good Samaritan finds it, the clearly stated address and phone number will help them return the dog. Plus, training will allow you to trust your dog in the yard.


Certainly, the matter of price will be a major factor in deciding which tracking tool will be best.

GPS Tracker

GPS trackers for dogs come in a range of prices. They can be as little as $30 or as much as $700. The more expensive will have better features, guarantees and warranties. But, some have additional charges and fees on top of the price you pay for the device.

Motion Sensors

Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $250 per motion sensor for your dog. The cost will largely depend on how many you need. Also, while some on the market gear specifically for dogs, they also have a cost for monitoring and use outside of what you pay for the sensor.


You can find decent dog-monitoring cameras between $10 and $300. Some offer an app to connect the cameras to your smartphone and/or computer so you can monitor your dog and record the scene.

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Dog Tags & Training

Considering how expensive GPS can be, tags and training may be of equal or lesser value. Dog tags run between $4 and $20. Obedience training prices can vary. Per class, they can be $30 to $120. Yet schools and boot camps charge $200 to $1,250 per week.

Overall Best Option

The overall best option would be to incorporate all the tools mentioned above along with activating the dog’s microchip. Use the tracker to see where the dog is and register the chip so you can receive a notification when someone turns your dog into a vet. This will be ideal if the dog loses the collar and thus the tag.

But, if you also have a motion sensor connected to security cameras, then you can catch the dog early. You will find out right away and can react accordingly. However, if you want a singular solution, go for dog tags and training.

Final Thoughts

So, while you can’t use a microchip to track your dog, there are a host of other things available. First, observe your dog to figure out why it keeps fleeing. Then you’ll be able to know which option will be better.