Dress up your dog with a license


Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding reminds dog owners that while they’re styling their dogs this Halloween, no canine costume is complete without a PA dog license on the collar. Earlier this year, a Forbes Advisor survey ranked Pennsylvania dog owners fourth in the nation for spoiling their dogs, with 64% saying they have bought their pups outfits and accessories.

“Pennsylvania has made one thing clear — we love our dogs,” said Secretary Redding. “The best way to protect the dogs we love — at Halloween and every day — is with a license. Even if a dog has a chip, a license on their collar is clearly visible and helps ensure they will be brought home rather than ending up in a shelter.”

Pennsylvanians in the survey tied for third as most likely to invest more money in spoiling their dogs than their significant others.

“If you love your dog, license your dog,” Redding added. “A license comes first on the list when you’re protecting your pup from holiday hazards like eating too much candy or bolting out the door when you open it to trick-or-treaters. A license is a small investment in your pet’s safety and your family’s peace of mind.”

All dogs three months of age and older are required to be licensed in Pennsylvania. The fee for an annual dog license is $6.50, or $8.50 if the animal is not spayed or neutered. Lifetime licenses are available for dogs with permanent identification such as a microchip or tattoo. Discounts are available for qualifying older adults and persons with disabilities.

How to keep your dog safe this Halloween:

  • Make sure their costume includes a PA dog license on the collar.
  • When opening the door for Trick-or-Treaters, keep your pup leashed so he won’t bolt out to join the fun.
  • Make sure your pup’s costume is free of flammable material and choking hazards.
  • No candy for your canine.

How your dog license purchase keeps all PA dogs and communities safe by funding the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement’s work:

  • Inspecting Pennsylvania’s kennels and ensuring the health and wellbeing of dogs that spend their lives there;
  • Investigating and prosecuting illegal kennels and puppy mill operators;
  • Ensuring dogs in breeding operations don’t go without veterinary care;
  • Protecting the public by monitoring PA’s dangerous dogs and investigating dog bites; and
  • Reuniting licensed lost dogs with their families and helping unlicensed lost dogs find shelter.

Pennsylvania dog licenses for 2023 should be purchased by January 1, 2023. Licenses can be purchased through Pennsylvania’s county treasurers. To ensure you’re purchasing a legitimate license and not being scammed, skip the search engine and type licenseyourdogpa.pa.gov into your browser’s address bar to find your county treasurer.

Fines for unlicensed dogs range from $50 to $300, plus court costs.

For more information of Pennsylvania’s dog laws, visit  agriculture.pa.gov or licenseyourdogpa.pa.gov.

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