Dog owners warned about fines for not using dog collars

There’s been a lot of talk across various publications lately about the use of dog collars and harnesses to walk your dog. A lot of this stems from the fact that technically, you could land …

There’s been a lot of talk across various publications lately about the use of dog collars and harnesses to walk your dog.

A lot of this stems from the fact that technically, you could land yourself an unlimited fine or time in jail if your dog is without a collar with your details on it i.e. your postcode. Breaching this would be an offence under the Animal Health Act 1981.

The offense used to result in a fine capped at Level 5 (£5000), however since March 2015 level 5 has been done away with and the fine is now limitless – you could also face up to six months in prison.

Now, many dog owners use a harness instead of a collar for health reasons. For smaller dog breeds, collars and leads can press against their windpipe or for those dogs that have skin and fur conditions. However, as reported in one article* Rain Rescue commented that “it won’t hurt to clip a collar on for a 20-minute walk”.

Others have argued that mandatory chipping of our four legged friends negates the need to have a collar with a tag on it. But you’d need to got to a vet if you picked up a wandering dog, or contact someone with a scanner. Having your dogs tag on their collar means that a lost pooch is more likely to get home safer, by someone dropping them off.

For those that want to use a harness, our advice would be to still wear the collar with the tag also and take this off when you get home.