Dog owners face £500 fines over misunderstood dog collar law

Pet experts are warning owners that their dog's collars may be incorrectly labelled – potentially leading to a fine of £500. While many may assume that a name and phone number are sufficient when engraving the tag, more information is required to adhere to the Control of Dogs Order 1992.

Under the legislation, which is law in England and Scotland, dog owners are instructed that their four-legged friend must be wearing a tag with their owner’s name and ADDRESS on it (including a POSTCODE).

Telephone numbers can be useful too, should your dog wander off and/or get lost on a stroll, for anyone who finds them to get in contact. If a pet is not wearing a collar and tag, there is a real risk of dog theft by more callous strangers. The crime is sadly on the rise, with 2,290 pups stolen last year according to police figures.

Owners should be wary of the second type of identification dogs need when in public places, too – microchipping. Details of the owner of every dog must be registered with an authorised database, and puppies should be microchipped by the breeder before going to their first home. Breaking the Microchipping of Dogs Regulations law carries a £500 fine with the potential for criminal prosecution.

A spokesperson for at dog food brand Harringtons said: “Some owners may consider a name and telephone number sufficient for a dog’s tag – owners may even believe microchipping removes the need for an ID tag. However, the law clearly states that their collar MUST have a tag detailing the owner’s name and address when out in public on dog walks.

“Not only is this required to adhere to the Control of Dogs Order 1992, but it makes it far easier for someone to return your dog to you should they get lost!”

It comes as Harringtons has created a complete guide to dog walking with details on the UK’s most popular pet-friendly parks, the optimum distance for much-loved breeds plus when – and how much – to feed your pup.