What Details Should be on a Dog ID tag in the UK?
The UK is one of the best places to own a dog with an abundance of parks and beaches, footpaths passing through beautiful countryside, woodlands and fields where they can enjoy running off the lead, chasing, paddling, swimming, sniffing or even just relaxing in the shade under a tree on a picnic with the family. There are so many places where dogs are welcome.
I moved to the UK from Australia and it did not take me long to realise that I needed to share my countryside walks with a dog. In Sydney there were few places dogs are allowed to be off lead. Perhaps for this reason, in Australia, it is not a legal requirement for dogs to wear any ID on dog tags.
In the UK, identification, either inscribed on the collar, or engraved on a dog tag, is required by law when a dog is in a public place. This makes sense, given the freedom dogs are allowed in this country. The Control of Dogs Order (1992 warns that if a dog is not wearing ID, a fine of up to £5000 can be issued. ID inscribed on a collar cannot include all the information legally required, so an engraved dog tag is the best form of identification. As well as complying with the law, a dog tag with contact details can be the fastest way to reunite you with your lost pet. It is the most important accessory you can put on a dog. Explore our guide and keep up to date with tips on keeping your dog safe.
So, what details should be on a dog ID tag in the UK?
To comply with the law, a dog identification tag requires the owner’s name and address be included (house number/name and postcode) - but contact details are the most important information a dog should carry.
This information can fit on most ID tags, including designer dog tags where only one side can be engraved. Two of our most popular designer dog tags are the Fashion Pink Bowtie dog tag and the Design Blue Pawprint Tag.
What Trainers might require
Trainers insist on having the owner’s name and full address on the tag. This will generally mean purchasing a tag that can be engraved on both sides, so that information and at least one phone number can fit. Our robust Stainless Steel dog tags are perfect for training sessions, as are our Brass dog tags, both of which can be engraved on two sides.
The Versatile eZeClip
Consider purchasing an eZeClip which will make it easy to switch the tags as needed. Check out this video to see how it works.
Is it safe to include the address on a dog tag?
We get many calls from customers who are concerned about including their address on their dog’s tag. They worry that it might make it easier for dog thieves to locate and steal their dog. Many choose not to include the address on the tag and instead include contact numbers. We will engrave your dog tag with only the information you request.
Dog thieves steal around 2,000 dogs each year in England and Wales, with about 50% of these dogs being taken from their home or garden. With an estimated 9.6 million dogs in the UK, the risk to dog owners is actually very low, according to the government's Pet Theft taskforce. However, it is important to make sure your home and garden are always as secure as possible.
What other details could I engrave on my dog tag?
At least one phone number should be engraved on your dog’s tag - a mobile number if you are not always at home, and a home landline if you do not have good signal at home.
Should the tag have ‘Microchipped’ engraved on it?
Many people include the word ‘Microchipped’ or ‘Chipped’ on their tag. It is a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped but many people who find a lost dog may not realise this. Having ‘Chipped’ engraved on the tag will let them know that the dog is registered with a microchip database. They will also know they can take the dog to a vet to be scanned, should they not be able to make contact with the owner using the information on the tag. This could also deter thieves, who know that if the scan will reveal the true owner.
However, we do not recommend including your pet’s microchip number on the tag. Not only is it long so will be difficult to read, but knowing this number may increase the risk of theft and using it to transfer ownership.
If your dog has any health issues, choose a Medical tag. This provides an immediate alert and you can describe the health issue.
Avoid including irrelevant information on your dog’s tag
Avoid adding words like ‘Telephone’, ‘Please call’, ‘Please call my mummy’, ‘Thank you’, ‘I’m lost if I’m alone’. The more text engraved on a tag, the smaller the text will be. Engrave the information that will help the finder reunite you with your dog as soon as possible. Symbols (stars, hearts, etc) will take up space and reduce the size of the text.
Why choose an identification tag from Pet-Tags?
Our high quality personalised dog tags are engraved using a state of the art laser engraver. We dispatch orders within 24 hours with free first class postage. If the dog tag fades or breaks in the first five years, we will replace it.
Check out our fantastic range of identification tags perfect for dogs here, from £8.99 each include full engraving and first class postage within 24 hours. With collections including Stainless Steel, Brass, Design, Glitter, Fashion, ‘Smart’ QR Code tags, exclusive Kennel Club and Crufts dog tags in a range of colours, designs, shapes and sizes, you’ll be sure to find the perfect dog tag to match any dog collar and for every occasion.
For more information about our pet tags, see our FAQs.