Dog Identity Tags - The Law

In the UK, the Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on it, or engraved on a tag. Your telephone number is optional (but we would recommend this).

You can be fined up to £5,000 if your dog does not wear an identification tag.

You do not have to put your dogs name on the tag, this is optional. Unfortunately dog theft is a real danger and if the thief knows the name of your dog this may help them pass on the dog to the unsuspecting new owners because it appears they know the dog because the dog responds to their name. We would therefore recommend, you do not put your dogs name on the tag.

An example of the information to put on a dog tag is:

Mr A Smtih
No 54, BH17 7TD
01202 232218

OR

Mr A Smtih
No 54 Letsbe Avenue
BH17 7TD
01202 232218

Some people are of the opinion that if their dog is microchipped, they do not require a dog tag with their contact details on it. This is incorrect, and you should always have a dog tag on your dogs collar.

There are also companies who run schemes where you pay a fee and if your dog goes missing, they will assist in finding your dog. usually you receive a tag to go on the dogs collar with the companies phone number and an ID code.

Even though it is possible for your dog to be reunited with you if found via such a system, the law still states that you MUST HAVE a tag on your dogs collar with your name and address, i.e. you will have both tags on your dogs collar.

Certain dogs are exempt from having to wear a collar with a dog tag. They are:

  • Any dog registered with the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.
  • Any dog while being used in emergency rescue work.
  • Any dog while being used on official duties by a member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces, HM Customs and Excise or the police.
  • Any dog while being used for driving or tending cattle or sheep.
  • Any dog while being used for the capture or destruction of vermin.
  • Any dog while being used for sporting purposes.
  • Any pack of hounds.
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