Patrick explains UK laws on dog micro-chipping & ID tags
May 7, 2022
If your dog has been micro-chipped, do they need to wear a collar and ID tag? And if your dog always wears a collar and ID tag, do they need to be micro-chipped? Veterinary Surgeon Patrick von Heimendahl, is here to clear up any confusion …
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 micro-chip dogs?
June is National Micro-chipping Month and so is the perfect time for a refresher on the benefits of micro-chipping. Since 2016, there has been a UK law on micro-chipping dogs from 8 weeks of age. This is typically done by the breeder, before the puppy is re-homed, and they must then update the microchip log with the new owner’s information.
A microchip may be tiny (about the same size as a grain of rice), but its purpose is far bigger, explains Patrick. If your dog should ever go missing and isn’t wearing a collar and tag, a microchip can ensure that you are reunited. 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.
Dogs picked up as strays that are not already micro-chipped must be micro-chipped by their owners within 21 days of being found or face a criminal prosecution 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 they do go AWOL.
If for any reason your dog has not been micro-chipped, or you just want to have their microchip scanned and the details checked, contact our 28 Clarendon Street team on 01223 359021 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. Be sure to include your phone number on the tag and ideally an address, as if your dog is found close to home whoever finds them may be able to return them directly.
Small dog ID tags are available for smaller breeds of dog, and the tag has two sides that can normally be engraved.
We don’t generally recommend putting your dog’s name on the tag in case this makes them more responsive to dog thieves. Some people like to include the phrase CHIPPED & NEUTERED on the tag if space as this may deter thieves who are often stolen for breeding.
Hopefully this clears up any confusion. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to get your dog’s details checked.