Why Is Licensing Your Pet Mandatory in North America?

Have you licensed your pet yet? We know what you’re thinking. Ugh, do I really have to? I’ll get on it — right after I regrout my bathroom and get a root canal. Good news: mandatory pet licensing doesn’t have to be a hassle, and there are other great reasons to cross this item off your to-do list.

It’s the Law

Nearly every community in North America has pet licensing by-laws and ordinances on the books. But, as we found in our comprehensive research with municipalities, average compliance rates are just 13 percent.

As you can see “It’s the law” isn’t the most effective justification for mandatory pet licensing. Most people simply disregard this regulation. So let’s go beyond by-laws and ordinances. Why does it matter so much?

It’s Good for Pets

One in three pets will become lost at some point in their lives. For owners, that’s a frightening statistic. No one wants to think about their furry friend scared and in danger. Licensed pets get home safely more often than unlicensed pets. Further, most cities will give your pet a free ride home when they are found.

These programs also help control pet populations, prevent the spread of zootonic diseases (e.g. ringworm, roundworm, salmonellosis, lyme, which can potentially infect humans), and subsidize the costs of animal services in your community.

Animal control is pricey; when pets wander off or get away, animal control officers pick them up. If they can’t find the owners, they have to take dogs and cats to the local shelter. The municipality incurs more expense trying to find pet families with online messages and other strategies. If this isn’t successful, pets may be unnecessarily euthanized.

The bottom line is that licensing promotes animal welfare. It helps build communities that actively protect pets.

It’s Cost-Effective Peace of Mind

Pet care is a multi-billion dollar industry in North America. From vaccinations and veterinary care to food, gear, and treats, the average owner spends at least $1000 – $2000 on a single pet.

Pet licensing is a drop in the proverbial bucket. In Toronto, for example, it costs $60 to license an unneutered/unspayed dog and $50 for an unneutered/unspayed cat. If your pet is neutered or spayed, that drops to $25 and $15 respectively.  

Consider, too, that if an animal control officer asks for your license and you don’t have one, you can be fined hundreds of dollars. This isn’t the most common scenario, but it does happen. An inexpensive license fee more than pays for itself  — especially if your pet is lost.

It’s a Whole Lot Easier Than Regrouting Your Bathroom

When municipalities offer licensing through DocuPet, it is quick and easy to check this task off your to-do list. You can license online, by phone, or in person, and take advantage of automated renewals, rewards, coupons, and a feature-packed online profile.

Think of mandatory pet licensing as a protective measure, as a donation to your animal community, and as a way to help pets in your area. As a hassle? No way!