Does your dog legally have to wear a collar and an ID tag, even though he may be microchipped?
The answer to this is YES, current legislation dating from the Control of Dogs Order Act 1992; all dogs have a requirement to wear an Identity tag and a collar, when in a public place. The tag must have the owner’s name and address information. Be aware that dog wardens are at liberty to enforce this act, and those not adhering to it may face a fine of up to £5000!
When out on my dog walks, I have noticed more and more of my clients will just use a harness with an ID tag, however if the dog escapes from the house without his harness, there could be problems reuniting it with its owners.
The Law and Microchipping
After the 6 April 2016, every dog in the UK must legally be microchipped and also registered on one of the commercial authorised data bases, and in addition, wear a dog tag in a public place.
It isn’t necessary to put your dog’s name on the ID tag, this is purely down to personal preference. However, dog theft is a real problem, and if the thief is aware of your dog’s name, it makes it easier for them to pass the dog onto unsuspecting owners, as the dog will respond to them calling his name.
One dog owner in the Finchley area whose dog went missing was recently fined for owning a dog which was in a public place without a collar, even though the dog was microchipped. This event cost them a £150 fee for the Dog Warden to attend to scan the chip and reunite the dog and owner (If the dog had a collar with name tag the chances are he would have also been returned a lot quicker)
Always be alert that even though you feel that your dog is perfectly safe in your own house, a gate may fail to close, a fence could blow over in the wind or a door could accidentally be left open, giving your dog immediate access to the outside world.
Vital dog gear
In addition to the ID tag requirement, it’s also a good idea to have your dog wear a house collar at all times, to allow them to be restrained by grabbing the collar if need be, maybe in the case of an emergency. Without a collar, it makes things tricky to detain a dog.
I personally, consider some things as vital for my dogs, and obviously ID is first on the list. I use microchips and collar tags. An ID collar tag can be read by anyone, and microchips can be scanned by Vets or Dog Wardens, as a back-up in case the house collar has been removed. My own dogs wear a collar constantly for this reason.
I would also suggest that you take several, clear photographs of your dog with your phone. A full body shot, a profile head shot and a head shot face on, which will all help to identify your dog should he go missing. You can also use them on social media posts and posters to put up around your neighbourhood to help with his return.