Your Dog’s I.D & The Law

Since April 2016 it became law that all dogs must be microchipped but did you know it is also a legal requirement that all dogs wear a collar with an identity tag in public places.

Many people believe that if their dog is microchipped then it is no longer a legal requirement for their dog to wear an ID tag. This isn’t true. It doesn’t matter if your dog is microchipped; they still need to wear a tag. Failure to do so risks being fined up to £5,000!

Safe Return

Not only are you breaking the law if you fail to comply with chip and tag laws but you risk losing your pet forever should they be stolen or go missing, especially as it is not uncommon for dogs to turn up miles from where they originally disappeared.

Wearing a collar with an up-to-date tag is and always has been the fastest route to being reunited with your dog. Microchips are only any use if people can contact somewhere that has scanners and database access, a tag on the other hand would give the finder the ability to return your dog straight home. It’s a good idea to also attach an identity tag to your dog’s harness as well.

Legal Requirements – What Needs To Be On Tag

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 mandates that dogs must wear a tag with the owner’s surname and address including postcode. A telephone number is optional but strongly recommended. You can still be fined up to £5,000 if your dog has a tag without the required information on it. Surname, house/or flat number and post code are critical. As long as you make sure you have the legally required information on your dog’s ID tag you will be on the right side of the law.

No Names, Please!

It is ill advised to have your dog’s name on the tag as it makes it easier for thieves to gain your dog’s attention and make it look as though the dog hadn’t been stolen to potential unsuspecting buyers as he/she happily responds to name! Dog theft is on the rise.

Chooseing A Suitable Tag

Lots of pet shops stock tags and key cutters offer engraving services for a competitive price but many tags are poorly made and simply not fit for purpose. Being unable to fit a house address without the tags being huge. Not such a problem if you own a large dog but very problematic if you have a Maltese or Dachshund.

The metal holes even on some expensive dog tags can wear through causing the tag to fall off. And one must also be aware of the wire contecting ring attachment from tag to collar ring snapping from age or water related rust. If your dog has a regular tag be sure to inspect it often.

Safe and Secure, Highly Recommend Tags

Indigo produce strong, fade and dirt resistant, tags. They are very secure as they are not attached to the collar by a cheap wire connecting ring, meaning there is no danger of your dog losing his or her identification. And these tags do not dangle, removing the risk of the ID tag catching on something, such as a fence or even in another dogs fur during play. Indigo flat tags provide enough room for most people’s full name, address and telephone number. I use their tags on my own dog’s collar and harness – and would never dream of going back to poor quality standard tags ever again.

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Remember the no names rule! Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an example indigo tag which didn’t include dog name. Your dog’s tag must also have postal code to be legal.

You can order Indigo tags direct from:

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Flexitags are selling a similar tag to the Indigo, that can fit on any collar. You can order from

Article By Rebecca T Harris Professional Dog Trainer and Behaviour Advisor at Canine School for Skills.