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) You can be fined up to £5,000 if your dog does not wear an identification tag. You do not have to put your dogs name on the tag, this is optional. If the thief knows the name of your dog this may help them pass on the dog to unsuspecting new owners.

Do dogs need identification tags?

According to the Control of Dogs Order, dogs in the UK are legally required to wear a collar. This tag is used to identify your dog if it goes missing, and prove your dog isn’t a stray. The collar is a key piece of information about your dog and its owner.

The dog’s collar can be worn on the collar to identify the owner and the dog’s location and the owner of the dog. It can also be worn to identify a dog who is not a stray or stray.

Microchipping and the Law

As of the 6th April 2016, every dog in the UK must be microchipped by the keeper of that dog. Check out our Microchipping and the Law article for more details…

What to put on a dog tag (UK)

You could include the name of your dog on its collar. This can still be risky, though, because if someone steals your pup they can just call it by its name and easily recall it. If your dog has a condition that must be known to others, you could put this information on an ID tag.If you’re based in the UK, a dog id tag must contain: ‘I am deaf’ or ‘I have epilepsy’ No matter where your puppy goes, make sure they’ve got their dog id tag.

UK Dog Tags Law

Note that the legal requirements to microchip your dog differ from those related to requiring a dog tag.

Your dog must wear collar containing an identification origin, such as a metal ID (dog tag). The dog tag should contain information about you and can be important if your lost pet is found by strangers in public, but no need for your dog’s name.

Small tags don’t generally have room for a name and address, but add your contact information (including phone number) to make locating you easier, or just a contact number and postcode – no need for a house number or the full address of the owner. That is not a legal requirement under UK law.

In the event that your pet is lost or stolen, a phone number may be sufficient for contact information. Providing an address and name could pose an issue because someone stealing a pet would know you are likely to be out looking for your dog in a public place.

One typically specifies their dog’s conditions on a id tag, such as whether they are deaf or have epilepsy.

No matter how much your puppy is exploring, you want to make sure they are wearing their id tag.

So What Is the Law?

UK law requires owners to keep their dog on a leash and have evidence of ownership visibly inscribed on their collar, or attached as a id tag.

The law came into effect in 1992 and is enforced for dogs in public areas.

The fine is up to £5,000 if your dog does not wear an identification tag whether it was lost or not.

There is some disagreement on what an individual should include when making a dog id tag for their pet. Some people recommend excluding the pets name, as it could make them a target of theft as a thief can pretend to be the owner.

Animal lovers should ensure that their pets have a microchip as well as dog id tags.

What Exemptions Are There?

Certain dogs are exempt from wearing a collar with a tag. These are usual working dogs, or assistance dogs.


These are some simple legal requirements that must be met. They may not seem important on the surface, but failing to meet them could cost you dearly – in fines, reputation and hours of lost time setting things right.

Dog Tag FAQs

What information should be on a dog tag?

Dog tags must be legible and contain the required information – your pet’s name is optional.

What needs to be on a dog tag UK?

You must put a dog tag on your pet. If you were carrying him to the car without a collar, then that would be fine if he never gets lost, but otherwise it becomes illegal.

Should I put my dogs name on his tag?

One of the main ways to identify lost companion animals is with identification tags. Dog owners should remember that while the most important information on a tag about ownership, it can also be useful if you know your pet’s name or if you want to make contact with a possible owner by phone.

Article references: Dogs/Control of Dogs Order 1992/Legal Requirement/Laws on Dog Identification/Microchipped Dogs/Pet Control/Dog TagsMicrochipped