It’s actually true a dog license can save your dog and other pets. You might be thinking that’s odd, my dog doesn’t even drive, why on earth does he need a license? Well, this is a different type of license. While you might not have heard of a dog license, or maybe grumbled at having to pay the fee, it’s actually a good idea. Today let’s dig into how a dog license saves dogs.
SPOILER ALERT: It also benefits you in ways I bet you hadn’t thought about.
Budget Tip: A dog license is a great idea for your dog. You can ensure you own your down and that he or she is up to date on rabies vaccinations. Plus, you make it easier for local animal control to reunite your dog with you if separated. And if that weren’t enough, it also helps the homeless pets in your area. Additionally, some areas will let you save even more with a lifetime license, which is a HUGE savings. You can easily build a dog license fee into your dog budget or pay for it with your pet savings account. Either way, it’s a great budget winner all the way around.
First, what is a dog license?
A dog license is required in most counties and cities in the United States in order to own a dog. It certifies that your dog has a rabies vaccination. Additionally, when your dog is licensed, you’re issued a number and tag. The tag and number identifies your dog in case your pup gets separated from you. There is also some basic information you will need to provide along with the fee such as your name and contact information. It’s from this information you provide that you are contacted and reunited with your dog.
What’s the difference between a dog license, microchip, and ID tags?
A dog license is a fee that you pay to your city or county. It will help support animal services. Basically, it helps with homeless pets and animal control services. Thus, it helps save and support those pets in need in your area. Additionally, a dog license easily identifies your dog as being up-to-date on his or her rabies vaccine.
NOTE: In some areas when you get your dog’s rabies vaccine, it will trigger a dog license invoice being issued.
On the other hand, a microchip is inserted into your dog with an identifying number, which locates you. Your dog needs to be scanned to read the chip. Sometimes there’s an error and the chip isn’t detected. For instance, when I adopted my dog, Henry I was told he didn’t have a microchip. However, the next day we visited his vet and discovered he was chipped.
Finally, an ID tag only gives your dog’s name and your info. But this info can become hard to read over time if not engraved. Also, if it’s not kept updated, it’s useless. And it doesn’t provide your dog’s rabies information, which can be critical at times.
Is a dog license required in all states and counties?
No. You will need to check your area to verify what’s required. Check with your local animal control.
What are the benefits of licensing my dog?
- Reunite you and your dog quickly often without your dog visiting the shelter, which saves you money
- Provides proof of ownership
- Supports lost and homeless pets and homeless animals in your community
- Provides proof of rabies vaccination
- You avoid fines for not registering your dog
What if I simply don’t pay my dog license fee?
This can be risky. Honestly, in some areas, you probably won’t be fined. This is simply because of the lack of registering your dog isn’t enforced. However, if your dog becomes a nuisance and you receive a visit from animal control, you might have an issue. According to animallaw.com a failure to pay your dog license could mean your dog is subject to becoming impounded. However, in my area, it’s generally a fine of up to $400. Of course, this is assuming your dog isn’t the subject of a “dog incident”. If there’s also a dog incident issue, then your dog could be impounded as well.
How old does my dog need to be to get a dog license?
The age requirement will vary depending on your location. However, you can expect that somewhere between 3-8 months of age most dogs are required to be licensed.
Do service dogs also need a dog license?
How much does it cost to get a dog license?
Again, this will vary depending on your area. In general, you can expect to pay a bit more for an unaltered dog than for a spayed or neutered dog. According to a bill put forth before the Pennsylvania legislature in 2021 Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement noted that the national average for a dog license was $10. Although I know many big city areas, where homeless pets are more of an issue, the fee is closer to $100.
How often do I need to renew my dog’s license?
Generally, a dog license is renewed on a yearly basis. However, it can be a one-time fee.
Is there a way to save on my dog license fee?
Some areas will offer a lifetime dog license, which is generally in the neighborhood of four times a yearly license. So, on a national average that would mean about $40. This could be a big savings, especially if you have a puppy or young dog.
Where do I pay for my dog license?
Once again this will vary depending on your area. Some counties and cities will have all licensing collected through their licensing department. But others will leave this unique license up to animal control or their local shelter, which is how my area handles dog licenses.
Can I pay for or renew a dog license online?
Most often yes. Just go to your county or city website and search for “dog license”.
Is there a late fee if I don’t pay my dog license on time?
That will depend on your city or county. In most cases, while there may be a late fee, you can ask for it to be waived. However, if you do have to pay a late fee it’s always cheaper than the fine for not having a dog license in the first place.
Is there any reason why I shouldn’t get a dog license?
If you’ve read my articles before, you know I’m a big advocate for being proactive. The idea behind a dog license is to help the homeless pets in your area while protecting your dog from undue stress. Plus, it’s easy to identify your dog with a dog license and prevents a shelter stay. While you may still be reunited with your dog if he or should go to the shelter, why stress yourself or your dog out for $10, $40, or even $100? It’s easy to get a dog license and you can build it into your dog budget.
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Summary of how a dog license saves dogs and benefits you
I know you thought a dog license was a bunch of low-grade kibble at best. But there is value in a dog license. The thought of rolling the dice without a dog license is a big one. I’m not much of a gambler and when it comes to Henry, I’m not a gambler at all. So, if I can make something easier and as a side bonus help my local homeless pets, that’s a great idea.