New York Dog Licenses: The Basics

Black dog with New York dog license tag

You’ve been wanting a dog for a while, and now you’re ready to bring one home. You go to a local New York State animal shelter and discover many wonderful pooches from which to choose. There are boxers and beagles, Chihuahuas and terriers, labs and dachshunds, and numerous adorable mutts waiting for a forever home.

At last, you make your decision. You can’t wait to get Baxter (or Fluffy or Petey or Toto) home. You’ve done everything you need to in order to care for your new pet. You have plenty of dog food and treats on hand. You’ve selected a well-respected veterinarian to take care of your dog’s health. You’ve bought a leash for going on walks and a cozy dog bed that you hope your pup will like. Everything’s completed, right?

Not yet. There is one important step you still have to take. Namely, you need to secure a New York dog license, along with a state-approved license tag that your dog will wear on its collar.

Dog collar with license tag

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Why New York State Dog Licenses Are Important

Golden retriever puppy in snow

Mischief, a golden retriever full of roguish devilry and given to a wide assortment of shenanigans, for years filled Carla and Keith’s apartment with woofs of joy, squeals of delight, and occasionally a few (human) yelps of horror. The reason for the latter was this: all her doggy life, Mischief had a penchant for swiping food from unsuspecting humans. This irremediable behavior once even inspired Carla to write a poem for her niece!

Fair Warning: Our Dog Loves Spaghetti

Our dog loves spaghetti, and meatballs too,
And sometimes she even eats tofu!
My Dad tried to train her, teach her what to do:
Heel, sit, roll—and wait for a treat or two.
But she doesn’t listen, though she does understand.
Instead she ignores our every command.
She can reach every tabletop, no matter how high,
And sticks out her tongue, like a toad catching a fly,
To grab pizza crusts, or bananas with peels—
Meanwhile ignoring her own doggy meals—
Without breaking a dish or making a sound!
In a flash it’s all gone when you turn around.
“Guard your dinner well!” we tell all our guests,
To warn them they can’t trust this pest of all pests.
Swiping our food is her most favorite game.
And what do we call her? Mischief is her name.

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