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Why Should You License Your Dog

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Why should you license your dog?

Some people argue that their dog is an indoor pet and does not run away or does not get lost. There are occasions when dogs do get lost. Fireworks go off and startle dogs, thunder. Sometimes people bring a dog that is staying at another person’s home, and they are not familiar and may try to run away to get back to their home. So, this gives us a tool to help us locate the dog and to locate the owners and bring them home safely.

The other reason is – it encourages people to neuter and spay their pets. This keeps control of the pet population in your community. The third reason is it encourages people to get their dogs vaccinated which keeps disease down in the community. Also, it helps pay for animal control services in the community and municipality and department.


We want to give a huge thank you to the Normandy Park Police Department for their time and their services and all the people keeping us safe out there!

Should you license Your Dog?

A question that often exists is why should I license my dog and what does a dog license do? Here is what we learned!

What is a dog license?

A dog license is a metal tag given to the owner of the dog by the city or county with an identification number that is identified with the pet.

How much does a dog license cost and how often should a dog license be renewed?

These licenses are anywhere from 10 to 20 dollars depending on the city or county, although unaltered pets may have higher fees. Most of these licenses must be renewed every year and require that your dog is up to date vaccinations, mostly the rabies vaccine. Why Does My Dog strongly suggests visiting your local city website to get more information on the cost of dog licensing and renewal requirements.

Why is a dog license required?

There are several reasons why these licenses are required:

  • Encourage people to neuter/spay their dogs
  • Serve for identification purposes when pets are lost
  • Make sure pets are up to date on vaccinations, namely rabies vaccine
  • Portion of the profits used to help fund local shelters in some cases

Why should I license my dog?

It may seem like a chore and an unnecessary expenditure of our money. Why should one have to pay more money on top of already expensive vaccinations and other expenses of a pet owner, only to have the local government involved? Well this small fee, less than what most people spend on coffee a year; according to USA Today a person who drinks coffee regularly can spend as much as 1,092 dollars a year, can save you in the long run in more ways than financially.

We all hope our dogs will stay in our yard and not run off, bite any animal, or worse a person, but despite these hopes, things happen that are out of our control. Unfamiliar places, people, and situations can all lead to your pet to bolt. Typical circumstances are storms, fireworks, and away from home pet boarding conditions. Unfamiliar people and animals may also scare frighten your dog into running away and even biting.

Having a dog licensed may make a huge difference. A licensed dog may be given more time to a shelter to find the owners than one that is unlicensed, so he is less likely to be put up for adoption or worse, euthanized if the shelter is full. Policies vary from county to county, but most unlicensed dogs may be euthanized at the department’s discretion with no effort made to find the owner, while laws protect a licensed animal. This could be the difference between life and death to your beloved pet.

If your pet is loose and bites another animal or person, a license can save its life. A license shows that this dog has an owner and has current on his rabies vaccine. Thus authorities must try to locate the owner before deciding on euthanizing the animal.  Authorities also tend to take unvaccinated dog bite more seriously than those done by vaccinated dogs.

Another way licenses keep your dog safe is that most states have laws stating that stealing a licensed dog is against the law but this means that your unlicensed pet does not have the same protections. It may be difficult to get your pet back or even file a police report if your dog is not licensed.

How do I license my dog?

Luckily getting a license is pretty simple and can easily be done by mail, email or in person. Calling your local licensing department or animal control can put you in contact with the right people and get you information on the steps needed to get your dog licensed. It is also not a bad idea to have your dog’s veterinary records on hand so that you have proof of vaccinations, and spay and neuter certifications, most departments require proof, and thus this can expedite the procedure. Ask to see if there are options for dog life time license, spay and neuter vouchers and vaccine clinics that may make taking proper care of your pet more affordable and easier.

Remember getting your dog licensed can be a life or death matter for him, so take the time to protect your pet.