Keeping our furry friends safe is so important and a dog ID tag can help with this, it is also required by law in the UK in The Control of Dogs Order 1992 to ensure that they have either an ID tag or the details inscribed on the collar. So what details should be included on a dog tag by law in the UK?
Owner's Name & Address
The Control of Dogs Order 1992 law outlines that ‘every dog while in a highway or in a place of public resort shall wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached to it’, so an engraved tag is an easy way to comply with the law. The full legislation can be read on the government’s website. An example of what should be engraved on a dog ID tag in the UK, and comply with the law, would be:
1 High Street
1 High Street
However, in addition to what is required by law in the UK, we also recommend including a contact phone number or even two and this is also recommended by the RSPCA. Our dog ID tags are made of solid brass or chrome and have space for three lines of information on each side, so there is plenty of space to include what is required by law and an additional phone number or two. Because our dog ID tags are deep engraved this means that your dog’s details will be clear to read, which is important. We recommend including at least one mobile number and either another mobile number or a landline if you choose to include two phone numbers.
Other Details To Consider Including
It’s also a requirement in the UK for all puppies over eight weeks to be microchipped, so it’s also important to keep your contact details updated on the microchip too, as this can help if their ID tag is missing or has been taken off. You may choose to include 'I'm Microchipped' or just 'Microchipped' on your dog's ID tag. If they get lost and are still wearing their ID tag, including this is unlikely to help reunite you, as the phone number on the tag will be easier and quicker to use, but it might be good to include in case the phone number on the tag is out of date or isn't working for some reason. It could also discourage would be dog thieves if they see your dog is microchipped. The Blue Cross also recommend some other steps to help keep your dog safe, such as not leaving your dog tied up outside a shop or alone in a public place, making sure you don’t leave your dog alone in the car (we’ve written here about not doing this for other reasons too!) and also making sure your home and garden is secure.
If your dog is a breed dog you may choose to include 'I'm neutered' or 'Neutered' on your dog's ID tag, as this could also discourage dog thieves who are looking to use dogs for breeding.
If your dog has health issues and is on regular medication, you may choose to include 'On medication' or something similar on your dog's ID tag. This could be useful if they get lost, as it might encourage the person who finds them to contact you immediately or take them to a vet.
What to Consider Not Including
Your Dog's Name
Most dog owners love to put their dog’s name on their ID tag, although this is not required by law and it is not always recommended. We love seeing dogs names engraved on our tags (because we get to find out their names!), but it is worth considering not including it because if your dog is stolen, the thief can use their name to gain trust, which could also help if they try to sell your dog. Unfortunately dog theft is common in the UK so it’s important to help keep your dog safe and make sure they have an ID tag with the correct contact details.
The owner's name and address in addition to a phone number or two are the most important details to help reunite you with your furry friend if anything happens and of course make sure you are compliant with the law, but some of the other details might also be worth including if they are applicable to you and your dog. We hope that these tips will help to keep your dog safer and if in the worst case scenario something does happen, the correct information on their ID tag and microchip should give you a better chance of being safely reunited.