Sheriff's Office

Licensing your Dog

Dog Licenses: The Law and the Benefits

Washoe County Code requires that all dogs over 4 months old that live in the congested areas of Washoe County be licensed by Washoe County Regional Animal Services.Licenses benefit you and your dog and your community in many ways:

  • Dogs get lost. Dog licenses enable Animal Services staff to quickly identify and reunite lost dogs with their owners. Officers will make every reasonable effort to return licensed dogs to their owners before bringing them into the shelter, saving you time and money.
  • A license is proof of ownership in case your dog is stolen (we also recommend a microchip)
  • Licensing fees help support over 12,000 lost and homeless animals brought into the shelter every year.
  • Dog licensing is one way to ensure that all dogs who share our community receive rabies vaccinations.
  • Owners who maintain a current license tag for their dog will never receive a citation and fine for failure to license.

You can license your dog online at, by mail, or by coming into the shelter during open hours. Please note that a rabies certificate is required to license your dog.

Dog License flyer