Albert explains UK laws on dog microchipping & ID tags
May 21, 2022
If your dog has been microchipped, do they need to wear a collar and ID tag? If your dog always wears a collar and ID tag, do they need to be microchipped? Veterinary Surgeon Albert Moussafir, is here to clear up any uncertainties on this topic.
The short answers are Yes and Yes, if you don’t want to risk being prosecuted and fined. But what are the other costs of non-compliance?
Why microchip dogs?
June is National Microchipping Month and the perfect time to remind dog owners about this topic. Since 2016, there has been a UK law on microchipping dogs from 8 weeks of age. This is typically done by the breeder, who must then update the microchip log with the new owner’s information.
A microchip might be tiny (about the same size as a grain of rice), but its purpose is mighty, explains Albert. If your dog should ever go missing and isn’t wearing their collar and tag, a microchip can make all the difference in reuniting you. Vet practices, dog wardens, and some animal rescue centres can use a microchip scanner to reveal the owner’s details. This is also really helpful when a stolen dog has their microchip routinely scanned.
For dogs picked up as strays or scanned by the dog warden for something else, owners have 21 days to get them microchipped before a criminal prosecution is actioned with a fine of up to £500.
It is also a legal requirement to keep your contact information up to date, and extremely helpful in reuniting you and your dog.
If for any reason your dog has not been microchipped, or you just want to have their microchip scanned and the details checked, contact our Oakleigh Road North team on 020 8368 9798 who will be happy to help.
Dog ID tags UK law
According to the Control of Dogs Order 1992, all dogs must wear a collar and ID tag when out in public, which must detail their owner’s name and address. This dog ID tags UK law applies whether your dog is on a lead or not. Contravention of this order is an offence and risks a fine of up to £2000.
If your dog is involved in an altercation, an accident, or runs off, a dog ID tag is the quickest way for someone to contact you about your dog.
Dog ID tags can be quite small, especially if you have a small dog. Albert advises that phone numbers can be helpful on there too and recommends having your own version of this engraved:
A phone number can be very useful on a dog tag – and don’t forget, the tag has two sides that can normally be engraved.
On the topic of dog thefts, which have risen significantly since the first COVID lockdown, some of The Vet Whetstone’s clients have told us their top tips for dog ID tags:
- Don’t have your dog’s name engraved on their ID tag – this will and give thieves a head start
- Include CHIPPED & NEUTERED on the tag if it will fit as this may put thieves off – many dogs are stolen for breeding
So, why not put microchipping and ID tag at the top of your to-do-list, and give your dog the best chance of a swift reunion with you whilst staying on the right side of the law?