Losing your dog is one of the most upsetting and stressful experiences for any dog owner.
Every dog has the potential to stray or be stolen. We believe that there are three easy steps to remember to give yourself the best chance of being reunited with your pooch should the worse happen:
In 1992 it was made a legal requirement that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on it, or engraved on a tag. And although there is no legal requirement for a dog to have a collar and tag on private property, over the past three years approximately 2,800 dogs have gone missing from homes and gardens.
Having up to date contact details on your dog’s tag is often the quickest way for you to be reunited with your best friend. The contact details on your dog’s tag enable any member of the public to help return your dog to you should it go missing. If a dog warden is called and your dog is wearing a tag, they will attempt to return the dog to you straight away without having to take your dog to the pound.
You can get your own personalised engraved tag, whilst at the same time raising money for the dogs in our care.
Buy a personalised dog tag >
In April 2016, it became compulsory for every dog to have an up-to-date microchip.
A microchip is a small electronic chip, around the size of a grain of rice, which is implanted under the dog's skin and contains a unique number that can be read by a scanner. The dog owner's contact details relating to each number are logged on a central database, so should the dog ever go missing or be stolen it can be scanned by the authorities and returned to his owner swiftly and safely.
Dogs Trust offers free microchipping as a part of our Community Events programme.
Find your nearest event >
We also offer free microchipping at our rehoming centres (excluding Basildon, Essex). All you need to do is ring up and make an appointment at your nearest centre.
Your vet will also be able to microchip your dog but are likely to charge a fee.
To find out more, visit our Microchipping FAQ page.
Every year, thousands of stray dogs are unable to be reunited with their owners because their tag and chip details are not up to date. So, if you move to a new house or change your phone number, make updating the details on your dog’s tag and chip a number one priority. It is also a legal requirement to keep these details up to date. If your details are not correct you could face a fine.
It’s simple to update the details for your dog’s microchip: you can do it online, by telephone or by post, depending on which database your chip is registered to. Charges for updating your chip details vary across the microchip databases. If you aren’t sure who your chip details are registered with, you can call any of the companies listed on our below and they will be able to tell you which company you need to contact:
UK Microchip Databases
What to do if you have lost your dog
If your dog is missing, our lost dog advice will help you with what to do.