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5 UK Laws Every Pet Owner Should Know

5 UK Laws Every Pet Owner Should Know

The latest Pet Population Survey has shown that as of 2022, there are a record 35 million pets in the UK. That’s 62% of households with at least one fluffy family member. But with all of these four-legged householders, there’s a lot of essential, and sometimes strange, legislation that their hoomans need to know. As responsible pet parents, we thought we'd share some of these laws with you...


You must microchip your dogs and cats

We're confident that every dog owner knows by now that any dog over 8 weeks old should be microchipped. Compulsory microchipping for pooches became law back in 2016, and it is essential to ensure your dogs microchip is registered and up to date. But did you know that cats now have to be microchipped by law also? As of 2022, cats must be microchipped by the age of 20 weeks. Owners found not to have microchipped their pets will be given 21 days to do so, otherwise they face a fine of up to £500. This simple, low-cost procedure helps to reunite thousands of lost animals with their families every single year. Some charities and vets are able to offer financial support or even a free microchip where needed. 


You cannot sell puppies under 8 weeks old

In 2020, Lucy's Law was passed, which banned selling puppies and kittens under eight weeks old and also effectively stopped their sale by pet shops. It is illegal for a puppy or kitten to be sold without its mum being present and away from where it was born. This law, which came into effect on April 6th in England, is named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Lucy had been on a Welsh puppy farm, subjected to appalling conditions. Puppy farm breeding dogs like Lucy are forced to produce multiple litters, their puppies are taken from them, often far too early, before being advertised online, sold privately or in pet shops. The Dogs Trust has some great advice to those looking to buy a puppy here.


Dogs must wear an ID tag

As of 1992, any dog in a public place in the UK must wear a collar or an ID tag with the name and address (including postcode) of their owner written or engraved on it. Your telephone number is optional, but we highly encourage adding this too as it will make it easier to find your dog should they go missing. You can be fined up to £5,000 if your dog does not wear an ID tag. An example of the information you should include on a dog tag is;

Mr H Shiba

34, CT9 1DA

01843 297122

With our range of pet tags, you can choose exactly what information you want to include as they are fully customisable. Shop the range here


Some dogs need insurance by law

For most dog and cat owners, pet insurance is entirely optional, though highly recommended! But for dogs that have been identified as a banned type under the Dangerous Dogs Act (such as Pit Bull Terriers) and deemed exempt, third party dog insurance is a legal requirement. Yet unfortunately, despite these dogs proving to a court that they are safe to be around, it can be very difficult to find cover as many insurance companies do not assess the animals case by case. But fear not! Dogs Trust membership comes with 3rd party public liability insurance at just £25 for the year, find out more here.



You must carry poo bags when dog walking

Most of us dog owners know that picking up poo after our pets is essential, and that failure to do so will result in an on-the-spot fine. In fact, some councils can even fine you for not carrying a specific number of poo bags! Canterbury City Council announced in 2018 it would fine any dog walkers found not to be carrying at least two poo bags in an attempt to stop repeat fouling offenders. Similarly, in 2021, North Somerset Council brought in new rules that owners must carry at least one poo bag when taking their dog for a walk (no matter how short the walk may be!) or they risk a £75 fine. Remember, if you get stopped after disposing of a used bag, unless you have a spare on you, you could be fined. We always recommend bringing along a few, just incase. Keep them in a handy Poo Bag Pouch attached to your lead so you're never caught short again. 

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