While dogs have always been considered ‘mans best friend’, in recent years dog owners have spent increasing amounts on flashy personalised collars and tags thanks to the rise of brands such as www.doggietags.co.uk.

However a high number of dog owners don’t actually know exactly what information their dog’s collar or tag is required to show by law.

And not knowing could turn out to be a costly error for dog owners, who could be hit with up to a £5,000 fine if their dog is not wearing a correct ID tag.

So what does the law say?

What you need to display

Here in the UK, since 1992  have been regulated by the Control of Dogs Order. The order states that any dog in a public place much wear a collar bearing the name and address (including postcode) of its owner.

The easiest way to do this is to engrave the details on your dogs collar or on a small ID tag.

What you do not need to display

 The dog owners phone number is not legally required on a tag but it is advised as it will make you easier to contact in an emergency.

It’s also actually recommended that you do not include your dogs name on the tag.

This is because dog theft is an increasing problem in the UK, and if a thief knows the name of your dog they may find it easier to pass them on to an unsuspecting new owner as it can appear that they already know the dog by name.


 It’s also important to know that in from April 6 2016, every dog will have to be fitted with a microchip with the dogs information. Owners will have to register their information to a national database.

Microchipping is a very straightforward process with a tiny chip being injected via a hypodermic needle.

Best of all, microchipping won’t cost you a penny as the Dogs Trust are offering free microchipping across the country!
If you fail to get your dog microchipped once the new law comes into effect in April or fail to keep your details up to date, you could face a fine of up to £500.

You can see the full list of exemptions in the Control of Dogs Order 1992.


 Certain working dogs are exempt from the above restrictions, such as registered guide dogs, dogs used in emergency rescue work and dogs used for driving or tending cattle.

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