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What The Law Says On Dog Tags

What The Law Says On Dog Tags

dog wearing collar and tag

UK laws surrounding dog tags are relatively straight forward and easy to understand. That said, many UK dog owners still fail to meet the demands of UK law when it comes to fitting their dogs with dog tags. Of those who do fit their dogs with tagged collars, many further fail to have dog tags engraved with the information required by UK law. Hence, below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions UK dog owners ask concerning appropriate collars and the law surrounding dog tags and taking their dogs out in public.

Is it illegal for my dog to not wear a dog collar and tag whilst out in public in the UK?

Yes. All dogs entering a public space within the UK must be fitted with a collar and dog tag. Public areas include all UK highways and places used publicly, whether in the city or countryside.

Legally, what information does a dog tag need to display in the UK?

As laid out by official and legal UK legislation clearly stated in The Control of Dogs Order 1992: ‘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).’

Are there laws as to what sort of dog tag my dog needs?

There is no specific law as to the size, shape or kind of dog tag an owner needs to purchase. The two most standard options are to have a collar fitted with a rounded metal plate which can be affixed to a collar, or more commonly to have a drop tag which can be affixed to a collar via a metal loop.

The design, colour, shape or aesthetic look of the tag chosen is only important (legally speaking) in that it must provide adequate space to have the information required engraved upon it clearly and so that that information is legible. People are otherwise entirely free to opt for a novelty or fashion savvy tag such as those provided by reputable companies such as Doggie Tags, who specialise in providing and engraving designer, novelty and otherwise decorative dog tags that also satisfy UK law.

Can I get into trouble if my dog does not wear a dog tag?

Failure to comply with the stipulations and regulations set out by The Control of Dogs Order 1992 can result in owners incurring a fine of up to £5,000. Hence, it is far cheaper to simply invest in an appropriate collar, lead and ensure that collar is fitted with a dog tag displaying the information required to meet UK law.

What is the best collar / lead for my dog?

The collar and / or lead best suited for use by you and your dog depends upon the size, age, breed and to some extent can depend upon the behaviour of your dog, as well as where you choose to take or walk your dog.

Despite being an American organisation, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), have published a great guide to help dog owners ensure their pet is wearing a well fitted, comfortable and appropriate collar and lead.

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