Dog Licensing Deadline is March 31

With a current increase in dog adoptions during the COVID-19 quarantine, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s Animal Care and Control Division is reminding city dog owners that the annual deadline for licensing their pets is March 31. All dogs in Boston require a new license each year. 

“A license is your dog’s fastest ticket home if they become lost, and it’s the law,” notes Animal Care and Control Director Alexis Trzcinski. “A dog license is like an ID for your pet. If they ever get lost, the chances of you being reunited are much higher with a license.”

In preparation for the 2021 licensing deadline, the Animal Care & Control Division analyzed licensing data from last year to reveal the most popular dog names of 2020. The top five dog names registered in Boston were Luna, Bella, Charlie, Lucy, and Lola. Rounding out the bottom of the top 25 were Buddy, Riley, Finn, Coco, and Winston.

All dog owners must license their dogs by Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Dogs must be licensed if they are older than six months. Owners must provide a copy of their dog’s current rabies certificate and proof of spaying or neutering. For an in-depth guide on dog licensing, including a link to license your dog online, visit Animal Care & Control’s how-to article. 

The fees for licensing your dog are $15 for a neutered male or spayed female or $30 for an intact male or female. Dog owners who pay online with a credit card will be subject to a 2.7 percent service fee (the minimum service fee is $1.00). License applications may also be picked up in person or requested by mail; walk-in and mailed payments are accepted via check or money order. 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency, Animal Care and Control office hours are limited; please contact the office ahead of your visit. Whether you provide your information and payment online, by mail, or in person, your dog’s license will be mailed to you.

If you are renewing a dog license, you will need to provide your dog’s license number. The dog licensing fee is waived for service animals and residents age 70 and older. Owners must also pay any outstanding Animal Care and Control fines. The fine for an unlicensed dog is $50. Please call (617) 635-534 or email [email protected] with any questions about the licensing process or to update your information in the database. 

For current social distancing guidelines in City of Boston parks, please visit

Top 25 Dog Names Of 2020

Based on City of Boston 2020 Licensing Data

1.        LUNA

2.        BELLA

3.        CHARLIE

4.        LUCY

5.        LOLA

6.        DAISY

7.        BAILEY

8.        COOPER

9.        MAX

10.      PENNY

11.      OLIVER

12.      TEDDY

13.      MAGGIE

14.      STELLA

15.      OLLIE

16.      MOLLY

17.      LILY

18.      SCOUT

19.      ROCKY

20.      MILO

21.      BUDDY

22.      RILEY

23.      FINN

24.      COCO

25.       WINSTON

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