NYC law requires that you get a license for your dog and update it every year.  There are two ways to get a license for your dog; you can apply online or you can apply by mail.  To apply you’ll need to know:


  • When your dog was born
  • The date he or she was spayed or neutered (you can still apply if your dog has not been spayed or neutered, but it will cost you more than triple what it would otherwise)
  • The name and address of the veterinarian that spayed or neutered your dog
  • The weight of your dog

To apply online: Go to, set up an account, and follow the instructions.

To apply by mail: Go to,  print out the form, and mail it, along with your payment, to the address shown at the top of the form.  This form is in English, but for other languages, you can use this link

If you want an application mailed to you, call 311.

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Most Popular Pet Names By Borough

There are more than 85K dogs licensed in New York City.  So many applications are filed online that the City is able to collect data on pet names and population by borough/section of NYC.

Check out these webpages to see the most popular dog names by borough and where the highest densities of dogs exist:

Data on dog population of New York City

Map of dog names by City section

How old does my dog have to be before he can be licensed in NYC?

Dogs can be licensed at any point in their lives.


Does my dog have to have proof of a rabies vaccine before he can be licensed?

No, but a rabies vaccine for all dogs living in New York State is required by law.  East Side Animal Hospital carries one of the safest and most effective rabies vaccine available.  Rabies vaccines must be updated once every 3 years for adult dogs and once a year for cats.  If you have a new dog or cat in your family, you are welcome to review our resources for new kittens and puppies.

How much does a dog license cost?

At the time of this writing, dog licenses are $8.50 if your dog has been spayed or neutered, and $34.00 if your dog is not spayed or neutered.

When do I have to renew my dog’s license?

Every year.  The New York City Department of Health will remind you by mail and/or email.  The renewal fee is $8.50 if your dog is spayed or neutered, and $34.00 if your dog is not spayed or neutered.

Where does the money that I pay for my dog’s license go?

It helps the City assist pets in need.  NYC contracts with the not-for-profit Animal Care Centers of NYC to manage strays in the city.  Annually the city spends roughly 18 million dollars in the management of stray, abused, and abandoned pets in all 5 boroughs.

Are there benefits to having my dog licensed?

Yes! If your dog has an up-to-date license, he or she can play off leash in those parks that are designated as such.  If your pet is lost, you can enter the license tag number into the NYC website and the city will assist you with finding your pet.  Finally, if your dog bites someone, a valid license can simplify the medical follow up required in such cases.

What is the fine for not having a license for my dog in NYC?

CBS NYC has reported that dog owners that don’t have a license for their dog can be fined between 25 and 200 dollars.

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