Dog Tags & the Law: What You Need to Know

Many British people are confused over whether their dog is required by law to wear a dog tag. Even dog owners whose dogs wear dog tags are unsure as to what information a dog tag should have on it.

A rise in the popularity of luxurious bespoke collars mean that owners believe they are fulfilling their obligation by having their dog’s name and their own phone number featured on their dog’s collar.

Hence, a considerable amount of the dogs owned in the UK are currently wearing collars either lacking dog tags or are wearing dog tags which do not display the information required by UK law.

Dog-TagsDiffering Laws Across The World

Much of the confusion as to what information a dog tag should feature arises because unlike in many countries, in the UK dog owners needn’t apply for a licence in order to own a dog.

In fact, just about anybody can find themselves suddenly the owner of a dog, whether through a desire for company, home security, a partner already owning a dog or even as a gift.

The lack of control over who owns a dog in the UK means that in some circumstances, a person can become a dog owner without actually understanding what owning a dog entails. Aside from pet insurance, budgeting for dog food, exercising your dog and ensuring its veterinary needs are met, inexperienced dog owners (even the ones with the best intentions!) can suddenly find they and their dog have fallen foul of the law.

ALL Dogs In The UK Must Wear A Collar / Dog Tag

The simple fact is that in the UK, the Control of Dogs Order 1992, states that all dogs entering a public space must be affixed with a collar and / or dog tag which states both the owner’s name and the home or primary address of the dog owner, complete with the postcode of that address. Optionally, dog owners can also choose to have a collar or tag engraved or made featuring their phone number. Having a phone number featured on a collar or tag is not required under UK law. Owners might want to have their phone number added to a dog tag or collar though as those who do may stand a better chance of being reunited or more quickly reunited with their dog, should it get lost or go missing. Failure to ensure your dog is wearing a dog tag bearing both the owner’s name and address can result in an owner being fined up to £5,000.

Fortunately, ensuring your dog is wearing a collar or dog tag bearing the correct information required under UK law does not have to mean forfeiting the fun of a bespoke collar or tag. Almost any dog collar can be affixed with a dog tag, such as that available via UK company Doggie Tags, who specialise in creating personalised and unique dog tags for your pet(s) to wear. Hence, having your dog wearing the appropriate and legally required information affixed to its collar does not require purchasing a new collar for your pet. Hence, with numerous options available to UK dog owners, there really is no excuse (at least in the eyes of the law!) for your dog to be not wearing the information required by law in order for that dog to enter a public space.

To learn more the legal obligations dog owners in the UK are subjected to meeting or fulfilling, the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home have helpfully compiled a Fact sheet, which is free to access and print, via the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home website.