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5 Fantastic Reasons to Get Your Service Dog Licensed with Your County

New Life K9s service dog, Apollo.

There are so many things a pet parent needs to remember when caring for their pup. This is also true for service dog handlers and their service dog companions. They need to be trained, groomed, exercised, taken to the vet, tagged and properly leashed. But there is one thing that slips through the cracks when it comes to caring for your service animal. Getting your service dog registered with the county is an underrated yet pertinent part of having any dog, including a service dog. 

In this post, we will examine the importance of getting your service dog, or any dog you own, licensed with your county. 

Below are five reasons you should register your dog with your county.

It is actually the law

The first and most important reason you should register your dog with the county is because it is actually the law. Not everyone realizes this one, but yes it’s true, you can get in trouble and even fined for not having your dog registered with the county. Avoid hefty fines by getting ahead of the game and registering your dog.

In San Luis Obispo County, dogs that require a license are ones that have been in the county for thirty days or more and are over four months old. You can register your dog through Animal Services online, via mail, or in person during business hours. 

Please visit the Animal Services Dog Licensing page to license your pup online or download an application to mail it in.

A license tells everyone that your pup is properly vaccinated

In order to acquire a license through the county, you must show proof your dog has had a rabies shot. Because of this, as long as your dog is licensed, everyone will know your dog has been properly vaccinated and is safe from rabies.

A license reunites you with your dog

If you were to get separated from your service animal, a license is one of the quickest ways to reunite you with your pup, especially if they are found by animal services. A license lets animal services know the dog belongs to someone and has an owner that is missing them.

In addition, a dog with a license will likely be held longer than a dog who does not have a proper license. In SLO county, if your dog is licensed and ever impounded, you will have the first impound fee waived.

It is an opportunity to update vaccinations and contact info

The renewal of a dog license will usually coincide with their rabies renewal time, therefore it is a wonderful reminder to make that vet appointment. 

Have you moved since last year? No problem, the yearly renewal is also an opportunity for you to update all the contact information for your dog. 

It is affordable

One of the most exciting things about a dog license is that it is affordable. No outrageous fees to get your pup properly licensed with the county. In most counties, the fee is nominally reduced if your pup is spayed or neutered. For instance, in SLO County, the yearly fee is $70 a year for an “unaltered” dog, which comes to less than $6 a month. But if your dog is fixed, you'll pay $28 a year, just over $2 per month. 

But the discounts don’t stop there. In SLO county, there are discounts for senior citizens and for multi-year license purchases. You can purchase a single year or a three-year license.

One more fact about getting your dog licensed with your county is that the money usually goes to support animals. In San Luis Obispo, Animal Services gets support from these fees for things such as food and shelter. With all the love and care you put into your service dog, please remember that getting a license for them is just as important as everything else you do. There are so many benefits for you, your dog, and the county when your dog is licensed, so please don’t hesitate. If you are in San Luis Obispo county and would like to get a license for your dog, please visit their website for more information here.

Help save lives and donate to our cause!

New Life K9s places service dogs with veterans and first responders with PTSD at no cost to the veterans and first responders.


  1. “7 Reasons to License Your Pet.” PetHub, 3 July 2020,
  2. “Health Agency: Animal Services.” Dog Licensing - County of San Luis Obispo,

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