Does my dog need to wear a collar?

Absolutely. It is a legal requirement for dogs to wear a collar in public. To avoid a hefty fine, owners must also ensure that the dog displays their name and address.

By law, when a dog is in a public place, it must wear a collar. This – or a tag attached to the collar – must also bear its owner's name and address.

Additionally worth knowing is that owners can be fined up to £2000 if they don't comply. (There are a few exceptions, mainly working dogs).

Although it's not mandatory for the collar or tag to also display the owner's postcode and phone number, it is advisable, in order to aid a pet's quick return if he or she is lost.


While many owners believe that if their dog is microchipped, it doesn't need to have a named collar or tag – this is incorrect. ID is still required (and is also needed in addition to the tag a dog return company might provide).

However, in addition to the legally required ID, microchipping is highly recommended (and set to become mandatory in 2016) because it makes it easier to identify and return stolen dogs whose collars or tags may have been cut off.

For more information about the laws that govern dog ownership, we recommend reading our guide to the Animal Welfare Act 2007, which explains in layman's terms recent changes to the rules and regulations related to dog ownership.