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How to disable a canine microchip

Updated February 21, 2017

Microchips are implanted under the skin of animals, primarily dogs, in order to identify the owner of a dog in the event that it is lost or stolen. Many veterinary clinics and virtually all animal shelters are equipped with microchip scanners that enable them to access the microchipped animal's owner information. Microchips are commonly placed in animals adopted from shelters and may also be placed in purebred puppies by the breeders. Microchips are intended to be permanent when they are placed in a dog. The only way to disable a microchip in a dog is to completely remove it from the animal.

Locate the microchip. You can do this by taking your dog to your vet and having it scanned. Note that different chips require different scanners; if your veterinarian does not have the proper brand of scanner, he may not be able to find the chip and you may have to try several animal shelters or clinics before you find a scanner that can.

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian specifically to evaluate the microchip's location to give you an idea of how invasive or difficult the surgery will be to remove the microchip. You veterinarian may opt to perform some additional procedures, such as taking an x-ray of the microchip, to determine exactly what will be entailed in the surgical removal.

Schedule the surgery to remove the microchip. Follow any pre-surgical guidelines that are provided by your veterinarian.

Have your veterinarian remove the microchip from your animal. If you still wish to disable the microchip after it has been removed from your dog, smash it with a heavy item, such as a hammer. This will effectively disable the microchip.

Tip

If you do not want to go through surgical means to stop the chip from transmitting incorrect or old information, you can contact the manufacturer of your dog's microchip and discuss reprogramming options.

Warning

Microchip removal should only be attempted by a licensed veterinarian.

Things You'll Need

  • Microchip scanner
  • Veterinarian
  • Proof of legal ownership
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About the Author

Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.