Do dogs need ID tag AND microchip?

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 Alun Edwards, is here to clear up any uncertainties on this topic. 

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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 Alun. 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 Kidderminster Road team on 01527 889810 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. Alun advises that phone numbers can be helpful on there too and recommends having your own version of this engraved:  

SMITH, 10, 
WV11 8HG 
07770 123456  

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 Clent Hills Vets’ clients have told us their top tips for dog ID tags: 

  1. Don’t have your dog’s name engraved on their ID tag – this will give thieves a head start 
  2. 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?  

Contact us about dog microchipping