Council & City

Dog registration

On this page: Find out how much it costs to register your dog, how to get a discount, and options for paying (including internet banking and direct debit) as well as general information about dog registration.

Dogs need to be registered each year. If you have a new puppy, it must be registered before it’s three months old.

Who can register a dog

Each dog can only have one registered owner, and you need to be 16 or over. The dog should be registered at the address that it spends the most time at. Dogs moving into town will get free registration if you can provide proof of current registration from another council.

Once your dog is registered you’ll get an annual reminder sent to your last known address. If you move house, you need to let us know.

How to register a dog

The annual registration period is 1 July to 30 June. You can only keep one unspayed female dog on your property, and if you want to keep more than two dogs you’ll need to talk to your neighbours and apply for Council permission. You’ll receive a dog registration renewal form early in June each year. If you haven’t received it, please contact us.

The registration information about your dog goes onto a national register and this helps in the location and identification of owners in the case of wandering, lost or stolen dogs. It also helps keep track of dogs who have changed owners or districts, or who have a history of complaints.

The easiest way to register your dog is online. You can also visit our Customer Service Centre or call us on 06 356 8199 to register by phone.

Dog registration costs

We charge a fixed fee to cover the cost of registering your dog, discounted if you pay on time.

You may be charged more if we need to do an inspection.

You can keep your dog registration costs down by:

  • paying your registration fees before 1 August
  • desexing and microchipping your dog
  • being a preferred owner

Dog registration fees for 2020-21

Dog registration fees are set under the Dog Control Act 1996.

Following a review of Council fees and charges, some fee categories have been deleted from the schedule. These are preferred owner (desexed dog), rural non-working, and rural non-working (desexed). We have also introduced an application fee for preferred owner status. This is a one-off fee of $60 that will be charged for applications from 1 July onwards.

Work type

Standard fee if paid by 1 August 2020

Total fee (including penalty) if paid after 1 August 2020

General registration $145 $217.50
General registration (desexed dog) $108 $162
Preferred owner $85 $127.50
Rural working $50 $75
Disability assist $nil $nil
Certified for use by specified agency $nil $nil

Disability assist and specified agency are as defined in section 2 of the Dog Control Act 1996.

Pay your dog rego

Dog registration should not be paid until application to register forms are sent out to owners. This is to ensure you are paying the correct fee. The applications are sent out in the first week of June each year. Alternatively, if you choose to pay by direct debit, you can begin making advance payments towards next year's registration fee to help spread the cost.

We charge a surcharge of 1.3% per transaction to cover our costs in providing this service. 

Pay by internet banking

To pay by internet banking, make your payment to Westpac account 03-0726-0330770-00

Make sure you provide the correct details below so your payment can be identified:

  • Particulars: dog ID number
  • Analysis code: "DogRego"
  • Reference: owner ID number
  • For payments from overseas bank accounts, the swift code is WPACNZ2W

Pay by instalments

We’ve introduced the option for dog registration to be paid by weekly or fortnightly direct debit. 

Once you’ve received your annual dog registration renewal notice, you can arrange for a direct debit authorisation through our Customer Service Centre (not available online).

If your final payment is made before 1 August, you will only pay the standard fee, however if your final payment is made after 1 August you will be charged the full rate including penalty fees.

For example, general registration (2020-21) for a desexed dog would equate to $27 per week for four weeks (before 1 August), instead of $108 upfront.

Or, general registration for a desexed dog (2020-21) would equate to $20.25 per week for eight weeks (after 1 August), instead of $162 upfront.

A minimum payment of $6 per dog per week or $12 per dog per fortnight applies.

Please note that dogs will not be considered registered until the full registration cost has been received. If a payment is missed, the dog will be considered unregistered and you may receive an infringement.

Pay in advance for the next registration year and spread your payments without a penalty fee

You can choose to continue payments after the current year’s registration is finalised. These additional payments will be considered advance payments towards the next year’s registration costs.

Other payment options

You can pay your dog registration in person at our customer service centre, or by mail. Please note, we will no longer accept cheques from 30 April 2021. We can only accept credit card payments online, not over the counter or by phone.

Penalties for unregistered dogs

It’s an offence to have an unregistered dog and all dogs must wear a current registration tag so they can be identified. If your dog is found without the correct registration tag, it will be considered unregistered and could be impounded. The infringement fee for unregistered dogs is $300.

What dog registration pays for

Your dog registration pays for the Council to monitor and enforce the Dog Control Act 1996 and ensure compliance with local dog control bylaws and policies. Our Animal Control team investigate and respond to all reported dog complaints and incidents.

Dog registration pays for:

  • promoting better care and control of Palmerston North's 8,000 dogs
  • promoting community safety
  • encouraging responsible dog ownership
  • protecting dog owner's rights to own a dog by dealing with dog related problems
  • providing dog owners with education on dealing with dog related problems
  • dealing with aggressive and roaming dogs
  • dealing with irresponsible owners
  • patrolling public areas
  • running the preferred owner scheme for responsible dog owners
  • responding to dog complaints and animal nuisances
  • maintaining national dog database records
  • maintaining the dog pound – all impounded dogs are given food, water, shelter and exercise