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Dog control and animal welfare

Dog licences

  • Licensing your dog

    All dogs must have a valid licence and wear identification with the name and address of their keeper, either on a tag or engraved on a collar plate. Owners must supply the identification themselves. A dog licence is valid for one year. 

    You do not need to license your dog if it is:

    • a puppy under six months old and kept by the person who is also the keeper of the puppy's mother
    • an assistance dog used by a disabled person
    • a police dog
  • Cost of a dog licence

    Type of licence Price
    Single dog licence £12.50
    Block dog licence £32
    Concessionary rate dog licence £5
  • How to apply

    If you are licensing your dog for the first time and you don’t qualify for a concession you can do this online.

    You can also email dogwardens@belfastcity.gov.uk or call us on 028 9027 0431 to request an application form.

    We can't register dogs as 'mongrels'. You can check the breed of your dog by visiting the Kennel Club website.

    Any information you provide in this application is open to public scrutiny, and if requested we have a legal obligation to provide it.

  • How to renew

    Each year, around two weeks before your dog licence is due to expire we will send you a renewal reminder. 

    Your dog licence and microchip number will be on the top right of your reminder, and you should use these numbers when renewing your licence. If you are renewing your licence online, please make sure to enter the licence and microchip number exactly as they appear on your reminder.

    You can renew a single dog licence online.

    You can also renew a licence by post. You can also email dogwardens@belfastcity.gov.uk or call us on 028 9027 0431 to request an application form.  

  • Concessionary rate licences

    You can apply for a concessionary rate licence online or by post.

    You can apply for a concessionary rate for your dog licence if you:

    • are over 65
    • receive income related benefit or a member of a couple that receives an income related benefit.
    • have had your dog neutered or spayed

    However, you may need to provide us with proof that you are eligible for this discount.

    We will carry out random validation checks on your eligibility for a concessionary rate dog licence and you must provide proof on request.

       Cost  Proof
     Over 65 First dog licence is free, and then £5 for each additional dog. Photographic ID
    Proof of address
    Proof of your date of birth
    Universal Credit
    State pension credit
    Income support
    Housing benefit
    Income-based job seeker's allowance
    Income-related employment and support allowance
    Working tax credit
    £5 per dog Photographic ID
    Proof of address
    Proof of the benefit (as below)
    Dog neutered or spayed  £5 per dog Confirmation letter or email from vet

    Documents needed

    If you are applying for a discount because you receive any of the benefits above you may need to show us proof you qualify for the reduced price.

    • a printed letter from a local Social Security Agency/Northern Ireland Housing Executive
    • the letter must show your name and address
    • the letter must be stamped and dated (the date should not be more than six months old).

    Once we have registered your proof of age and if the dog has been spayed or neutered we will hold these on file and you will not have to produce them when renewing your licence.

    If you are in receipt of any of these benefits you may need to provide proof of this each time you license your dog, as circumstances may have changed.

  • Apply for a block dog licence

    A block dog licence is for dog breeders or dog owners with three or more Kennel Club-registered dogs  It's valid for one year.

    To apply for a block dog licence, request an application form from dogwardens@belfastcity.gov.uk

    Anyone wishing to buy a block dog licence must supply certificates of registration with the Kennel Club along with their application. We accept copies of registration documents and will return these once we issue the licence.

    No concessions are available for block licences.

  • Refunds and transfers

    If your dog dies, you can apply for a refund of your licence. You must apply within 30 days of your dog's death.

    You can also transfer your licence to another dog but you must do this within 30 days of your dog's death.

  • Fines for not licensing your dog

    The fixed penalty notices for dog licensing offences are:

    • not having a licence for your dog - £80 (£50 if paid within 14 days)
    • not displaying an ID on your dog - £80 (£50 if paid within 14 days)

    If you do not pay a fixed penalty notice, you could be taken to court, where you could be fined up to £1,000.

Contact us

For more information and advice, get in touch.

dogwardens@belfastcity.gov.uk

028 9027 0431

Dog control, Ground Floor, Cecil Ward Building, 4-10 Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 8BP

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