Pet owners have been warned about this "little-known" dog collar law that could lead them to a £5000 fine if broken. 

Having a furry friend can be a fun and joyful experience but it is also an important responsibility. 

There are key laws that owners need to follow in order to protect their pets as well as others. 

Properly identifying your pooch through microchipping and a fully labelled collar and tag.

Do dogs have to wear a collar and tag in the UK?

The pet experts at dog food brand Harringtons have warned owners that their pups’ collars may be incorrectly labelled which could lead to a £5000 fine.

Many people might make the assumption that you only need to include a name and phone number on a dog tag.

However, under the Control of Dogs Order of 1992, owners need to include more information.

A tag needs to include the owner's name as well as their address and postcode according to the legislation which is law in Scotland and England.

The pet experts also noted that telephone numbers are useful in the circumstances that your dog gets lost or wanders.

A phone number means that anyone who finds them can quickly get in contact.

Dog theft is also a real risk when a pet is not wearing a collar.

In fact, 2,290 pups were stolen last year, according to police figures.

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Is it a legal requirement to microchip your dog?

The pet experts at Harringtons also urged owners to be wary of identifying your dog through microchipping.

Details of the owner of every dog must be registered with an authorised database,

Puppies should be microchipped by the breeder before going to their first home.

If you break the Microchipping of Dogs Regulations law, you could be hit with a £500 fine and there is potential for criminal prosecution.

A spokesperson for 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!”

The advice 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.

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Peter Wright, vet for Harringtons reinforced: “Getting out and about on dog walks as a pet parent is one of life’s greatest and simplest pleasures; serving nutritious dog food is key to complement this.

"Obesity in dogs is rife, and the best thing we can do to prevent our dogs from facing this health crisis is feeding them a balanced food with plenty of good-quality protein to give them the energy they need for walks.

2Ensuring your four-legged friend is fully equipped, armed with a wholesome diet, means nothing can jeopardise this.”