Dog registration

A happy dog with a bright red registration tag.

All dog registrations expire on 30 June each year, and dog owners must renew their registrations by 1 August to get a discounted rate and avoid a penalty fee. 

Payments received by 31 July each year are discounted in line with Dog Management Fees and Charges. 

Dogs must be microchipped and registered before they reach the age of 12 weeks old. Contact your vet for more details on microchipping your dog. 

Registration fees depend on whether the dog is desexed, a working dog, or classified as dangerous. (Note: there is no added charge for a dog classified as menacing).

Animal fees

About registration fees

Registration fees are paid annually and used to maintain and enhance dog safety, management and enforcement. We do not profit from dog fees.

The fee structure is designed to reward good dog ownership. You can reduce your fees by neutering or spaying your dog (desexing).

Registering your dog pays for:

  • enforcing the Dog Control Act and related bylaws 
  • education programmes and campaigns for schools and community or business groups
  • dog management, including law enforcement, patrols and attending to complaints and incidents
  • administering the animal management offices and kennels (dog pound)
  • administering our dog management programme.

An infringement of $300 may be  issued if you are found to have an unregistered dog.  All dogs must wear a current registration tag so they can be identified. 

Animal fees

Registered after 1 August

If any puppy, or dog entering New Zealand, is to be registered after 1 August, the fee shall be 1/12th of the annual fee for each month remaining in the registration year, after the date of such registration.

Discounted fees for desexed dog

Owners wishing to claim a reduced fee for dogs desexed in the last 12 months must produce a certificate from a veterinarian at the time the dog is registered certifying that the dog has been desexed.

If the dog has been registered, the reduced fee won’t apply till the following registration year.

Dog registration refunds

If your dog passes away, you need to notify us and specifically request a refund.

It is important that you do this as soon as possible, as the refunds are calculated on the number of full months left in the registration year, from the date we receive your written notification. 

The request for a refund needs to be accompanied by either:

  • the current registration tag of the deceased dog
  • a certificate or an invoice from a Veterinary Clinic confirming that the dog has passed away.

You will also need to provide proof of your bank account as all refunds are made to the owner's bank account.

Refunds are not available if your dog changes ownership or you sign your dog over to animal management.

Lost dogs / change of district

We will not refund a proportion of the registration fee in respect of a dog that has been lost, or has changed owners or districts within New Zealand.

Microchip your dog

Inserting a microchip is a harmless and straightforward procedure which is done by your vet. It means that if a dog is lost and is not wearing its registration tag it can be identified easily by scanning the microchip tag.

As all dogs registered for the first time on or after 1 July 2006 have to be microchipped all  dogs in New Zealand must now be microchipped. 

Working farm dogs that are kept solely or principally for the purpose of driving or herding stock are exempt from microchipping.

Failure to microchip a dog could result in an infringement notice, possible prosecution and a $300 fine.

Dog registration and chipping are two separate processes - you must register your dog every year but microchipping needs to be done only once.

Why you should microchip your dog

Microchipping helps us to:

  • identify dogs that are roaming or lost
  • reunite dogs with their owners
  • keep track of dangerous or menacing dogs.

The Dog Register

The New Zealand government requires us to keep a database of dogs registered in the Whangārei District.

Please let us know if your dog's circumstances change.

 Information kept on the register includes:

  • name, address, and date of birth of the owner of the dog (allows for you to be distinguished from someone with the same name and is a legal requirement)
  • address where the dog is kept
  • description of the dog e.g. breed, colour, distinguishing markings
  • the age and sex of the dog (including whether the dog is desexed or not)
  • whether the dog is classified as a dangerous or menacing dog
  • description of any tattoo or microchip transponder that provides other permanent identification on the dog.

If you move to another council's area, notify us and the other council in writing, within 14 days, and please provide:

  • your new address
  • the registration number of the tag or disc issued for the dog.

A fine of $100 applies if you fail to update your address details.