Dog owners - what you need to know

Collar and ID tags

Your dog(s) must wear a collar and ID tag displaying the owner’s name and address (postcode is not required) when in any public place. This is a legal requirement under the Control of Dogs Order 1992 (external link).

If your dog is found without a collar and ID tag, you may face a fine of up to £2,000 if convicted.

Microchipping

As well as a collar and ID tag, you must make sure your dog is fitted with a microchip by the time it’s 8 weeks old.

This is a requirement under the Microchipping of Dogs (England) 2015 Regulation (external link), and you can be fined up to £500 if your dog is not microchipped or the details attached to the microchip are not up to date.

Your dog’s microchip must be fitted by a trained professional, such as your local vet. The following organisations may also be able to microchip your dog:

  • Blue Cross centres
  • Dogs Trust.

There may be a fee for these services so please contact the organisation first.

Your dog’s microchip will be given a number, which will show up whenever your dog is scanned. Your details, including address and current telephone number, will be stored on a database alongside your microchip number. This will ensure that your dog can be returned to you if it is lost or stolen.

Registering your dog

You must make sure that your dog is registered on one of the following databases (all meet government standards):

  • Animal Microchips
  • Animal Tracker
  • Chipworks
  • Identibase
  • MicroChip Central
  • MicroDogID
  • National Veterinary Data Service
  • Pet Identity UK
  • Petlog
  • PetScanner
  • ProtectedPet
  • SmartTrace
  • UK PETtrac.

Please remember that you could also be fined up to £500 if your dog is registered on a database that is not on this list.

Keep your details up to date

You’re responsible for keeping your dog’s microchip information up to date. To make changes to your microchip, for example if you move to a new house or change your telephone number, you will have to contact the database company your dog is registered with. Please note that you might be charged for updating your dog’s microchip information.

Buying a dog

You should ask for proof a microchip has been fitted before buying a dog. You can ask to see any of the following as proof:

  • Microchip certificate
  • Vet records
  • Pet passport.

You may also be able to see microchip information in the dog’s pet insurance papers.

You must make sure the microchip details are updated once you have bought the dog.

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