my best pet microchip scanner

Here’s what I learnt purchasing the best pet microchip scanner

purchasing the best pet microchip scanner

The number of pets that go missing every day is alarming but reuniting them with their owners is nigh on impossible if you don’t know where that animal has come from.

Perhaps you’ve had a lost pup appear on your doorstep or maybe you live in an area where there are lots of unknown cats. Whatever the situation, a pet microchip scanner can help you to discover where the animal has come from and provide you with information on how to get it home.

Responsible pet owners will know that having cats and dogs microchipped is a legal requirement so most lost pets should have a microchip. But you can only access the information within that chip if you have a scanner.

Fortunately, pet microchip scanners are affordable and easy to come by but it is important to make sure you purchase one that’s able to read all types of chips. Otherwise, you may find you’ve wasted your money and can’t reunite that lost pup with its owner.

Of course, buying a pet microchip scanner isn’t something that most people do more than once in their lives. So, I have created this guide to help you choose the best pet microchip scanner along with some products that I think are the cream of the crop.

What To Look For In A Pet Microchip Scanner

When choosing a pet microchip scanner, it’s important not to just select the first one you come across. While the general concept of these devices remains the same, there are some variations. Here are my top tips for choosing the right device for your needs.

Battery Life

What To Look For In A Pet Microchip Scanner

Pet microchip scanners are always powered by batteries. While they’re probably not the type of item you’re going to be using every day (unless you own a rescue centre or are a vet), you still want something that’s going to be reliable.

For this reason, I always advise looking at the battery life. Even if you are only going to use the device from time to time, it’s better to have one with a more reliable battery.

Type Of Chips

When looking at pet microchip scanners, one of the most crucial things is that the scanner is able to read all types of chips.

While most can, there are some that are only compatible with certain types of microchips and these are going to be no good if you don’t know what chip is inside the animal.

The good news is that there are a lot of universal scanners out there so I’d always recommend going for one of these.

Scanner Reading Distance

If you’ve found a lost animal, there’s a good chance that the pet will be nervous or wary of unfamiliar humans. For this reason, looking at the reading distance of the scanner is a must.

The larger the reading distance, the further away you can scan the animal thereby reducing any stress.

What’s more, if the animal is aggressive, your safety should also be a concern so not having to get too close is a massive benefit.

Generally speaking, 15 cm is the standard reading distance but, as with anything, there are many variations on this.


Being able to easily read the display is a given when choosing a pet microchip scanner. Having a backlit display always makes it easier to see what’s on the screen but you’ll also want to look at things like what information is given and the size of the text.

Charging Options


As I have mentioned, pet microchip scanners are powered by batteries. Some will use regular batteries but this comes with the ongoing cost of replacing them

Therefore, I think it’s always better to choose a scanner that makes use of rechargeable batteries.

The most common charging option is through the use of a USB cable and this makes for the greatest convenience. You can charge the device at home or, if you need it on the go, the wire can also be used in the USB charging port in your vehicle.


Normally, pet microchip scanners are priced around the £30 mark although some are a little cheaper. Halo is perhaps the most well known brand and, because of this, you can expect to pay a little more for these devices.

However, it really depends on how often you’re going to use the scanner. If you’re making this purchase for a one-off lost pet then it goes without saying that you’ll want to get something as affordable as possible.

On the other hand, if you’re going to get a lot more use out of the scanner then having something more high end, which will be slightly more expensive, may be the better option as you’ll have additional features.

My Top 4 Pet Microchip Scanners

The good thing about buying a pet microchip scanner is that there aren’t a huge number of devices to choose from. This makes the process a lot less tricky. However, as is the case with anything, some devices are better than others. After researching, I have determined the following pet microchip scanners to be among the very best.

1. Smoostart Pet Microchip Scanner

Smoostart Pet Microchip Scanner

The most impressive thing about the Smoostart pet microchip scanner is how quickly it works. It’ll detect a microchip in less than 100ms so there’s no need to stress the animal out with prolonged waiting and holding the scanner over them.

At under £30, I think this is excellent value for money and what’s more, the compact size and lightweight design make it easy to carry. However, it is worth keeping in mind that this device only works with FDX-B and EMID chips so be sure to check compatibility before purchasing.

There’s a very clear OLED display which can be viewed even in bright conditions and the handy USB cable makes charging and connecting to your computer a breeze and you can store up to 128 records. Once charged, the battery has the capacity to last up to one year!

Smoostart Pet Microchip Scanner, ISO11784(85)/FDX-B/EMID with 128 Sets Data Storage Microchip Reader for Animal/Pet/Dog/Cat/Pig (Black)
  • [Support multiple protocols] - Support ISO11784(85)/FDX-B/EMID 10/15 digit microchips.Please check if it supports your microchip before buying.
  • [Built in lithium battery rechargeable] - No need to replace the battery, easy to operate, can be charged through the USB interface. It can last for more than one year after being fully charged.
  • [Data storage] - Storage capacity is equal to 128 sets of data.USB upload to computer.
  • [OLED display screen] - readable in the sunlight.
  • [Portable and lightweight] - Product size, 6.61 x 3.46 x 0.59 inch.

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


2. Halo Microchip Scanner

Halo Microchip Scanner

The most expensive microchip scanner on this list is the Halo. But it’s worth remembering that this is also one of the highest quality, most accurate and well loved devices for professionals like dog handlers and kennel owners.

The Halo scanner allows you to quickly scan any 10 or 15 (FDX-A and FDX-B) microchips and even alerts the user when a pet is listed as missing. Everything is shown on a clear and easy to read display screen although some users say that the pet number isn’t shown for very long so it’s worth making a note or taking a photo.

The scanner comes with a disc containing the compatible software which is easy to install as long as you’re running a system of Windows 7 or higher.

Pet Technology Store Halo Microchip Scanner Black,135mm Durchmesser X 33mm
  • Stores lost pets chip numbers
  • Alerts the user that a pet is missing
  • Rechargeable by plugging into a pc
  • Reads most microchips in pets, dogs, cats

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


3. NetumScan Pet Scanner

NetumScan Pet Scanner

If you’re looking for a very affordable pet microchip scanner but one that still provides ease of use and reliability then the NetumScan scanner is a great buy.

This one connects to your computer using either the included USB cable or via Bluetooth which I think is super handy. What’s more, the device itself has an OLED screen which provides a crisp and clear display even in sunlight.

The NetumScan is compatible with EMID and FDX-B microchips and allows you to store up to 256 tags; great for professionals on a budget!

While this one does state that some tags can be read up to 15 cm away, some users have noted that this isn’t always reliable.

NetumScan Pet Scanner Reader, Chip Tag Portable Built in Storage, Support EMID and FDX-B for Pet Management Farm Management W90A
  • ・ᴥ・【Portability】The scanner is small in size, does not take up space, and is easy to carry and store.
  • ・ᴥ・【Easy to operate】With just one click, it can easily read the data, with stable performance and simple operation.
  • ・ᴥ・【OLED Screen】After reading, the data can be clearly displayed even in sunlight.
  • ・ᴥ・【Built-in storage】Automatically store data, connect the computer with a cable, press and hold the button for three seconds to upload the data.

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


4. Tera Pet Microchip Reader

Tera Pet Microchip Reader

The mid-range Tera pet microchip reader is compatible with all EMID and FDX-B chips and allows the user to store up to 64 tags. I think this a great option for domestic pet owners or animal lovers that need an easy to use scanner to hand in the event they find a lost pet.

The Tera scanner is compact, lightweight and easy to carry and also comes in a choice of five colours, if that’s something that’s important to you. The screen is rather small but provides clear information and being an OLED screen, is easy to read in all light conditions.

Depending on whether you’re scanning a tag or glass chip, the readability of this device is either 15 cm or 5 cm respectively. This is pretty standard.

The device comes with a 1 metre USB cable allowing for easy charging and connection to your computer. What I also like is that the device shuts off after 60 seconds of inactivity to prevent unnecessary battery drain.

Tera Pet Microchip Reader Scanner RFID Portable Animal Chip ID Scannerw/OLED Display Rechargeable Data Storage Tag Supports EMID FDX-B(ISO11784/85)Dog Cat Pig Animal Management, Orange, One Size
  • 【Support Multiple Tags】 Tera pet chip ID scanner supports ISO11784 / ISO11785 / FDX-B (15 digit microchips) and EMID (15 digit microchips). Easy to operate, one button to read. Does not support FDX-A, AVID microchip. Please check if it supports your pet microchip before buying.
  • 【Sufficient Data Storage Capacity】 Tera Pet Scanner has extremely fast scanning speed and can save up to 128 tags information, you can upload these information to your computer via USB cable.
  • 【OLED Display Screen】 Tera handheld pet reader adopts high brightness OLED display, which can be clearly displayed under indoor or outdoor strong light/sunlight conditions.
  • 【Built-in Battery Rechargeable】 No need to replace the battery, easy to operate, can be charged through the USB interface. If no tags be scanned, the device will shut down automatically after 60 seconds.
  • 【Portable & Lightweight】 Product size only 5.3 x 2.3 x 0.3 inch, 90g/3.1oz. You could hold them just one hand, portable and convenient to use. Widely used for animal management, farm management, traceability management, railway inspection etc.

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


How To Use A Pet Microchip Scanner Effectively

How To Use A Pet Microchip Scanner Effectively

One of the first things to keep in mind when scanning an animal for a microchip is that the pet may feel nervous or on edge. For this reason, it’s very important to take your time and respect the animal’s boundaries. If they appear to be overly stressed, allow them some time to calm down and familiarise themselves with you before making another attempt.

Generally speaking, a vet will place a microchip between the dog’s shoulders but there are other locations that are sometimes used. I’d recommend starting between the shoulders and allowing the device time to pick up on the signal. This may not happen right away so have some patience.

If a chip cannot be found here, then you will need to slowly scan over the rest of the back and shoulders. After this, try slowly moving around the sides of the animal before moving to its underside and legs.

Keep in mind that, once implanted, it is possible for a microchip to move around. So, if you’re scanning a pet that you know has had a chip implanted in a certain location, there’s no guarantee that it’ll be in the exact spot it was originally placed.

Integrating Pet Microchip Scanners Into Your Pet Recovery Plan

Pet Recovery Plan

Many towns and cities around the world have programs that aim to reunite lost pets with their owners or find stray pets and rehome them. If you have a pet, I’m guessing that you’d want to be able to find him in the sad event that he goes missing and this is why microchips are so important.

Having a pet recovery plan is essential for pet owners as well as for the people that come across seemingly lost pets.

The information contained within your pet’s microchip is stored on a national database and there are several of these. One of the most popular is PetLog.

Having access to a pet microchip scanner enables animal lovers to determine where a lost pet belongs and reunite them with their owners as soon as possible.

If you often find that stray or lost animals turn up around your home, investing in an affordable scanner could be what it takes to ensure these animals aren’t left alone and scared.


Microchipping has been a mandatory process in the UK for some years now and it aims to keep pets safe and return them to their owners in the event that they go missing.

But the problem is that, in order to reveal the information stored on the microchip, you need to have a microchip scanner.

These often affordable devices are easy to use and could mean the difference between a pet losing its owner and being reunited with them.

There are a few important considerations when choosing a pet microchip scanner, even if you only intend on using the device once.

I’ve curated a selection of the best pet microchip scanners on the market and I hope that this helps you to make an educated and informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a pet microchip scanner?

You can pick up a cheap pet microchip scanner for as little as £20. Some of the more advanced models may come in at around £40 to £50 and these are ideal if you need something for more regular use. At the very top end of the scale, there are scanners that can cost up to £100 but these are typically better for professionals.

Should I be able to feel my pet’s microchip?

Sometimes, it is normal to be able to feel the microchip underneath the animal’s skin when you pet them. Although this isn’t always the case. Where the microchip can be felt, it should feel something like a grain of rice.

Can you scan a pet microchip with your phone?

As things currently stand, there are no smartphone apps or features that allow you to scan pets’ microchips. The only device you can use is a special pet microchip scanner like those detailed in this guide.

What microchip scanner do vets use?

Some vets commonly use the Proscan 700. However, this professional grade device is very expensive and often overkill for domestic pet owners.








Veterinary Author at | Website | + posts

Being a 5th year Vet student and having a passion for improving the health and welfare of all animals, I am providing with a veterinary perspective / insight into the real word applications, including strengths and limitations of the products it reviews. This will allow you to make an informed decision as to the suitability of the pet products reviewed on the site to keep your pet mobile, comfortable and full of life!

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