New annual dog registration process to protect pets and improve responsible dog ownership

Lost doggos will find their way home more easily after the ACT Government today passed new legislation requiring all dog owners to update their details annually, at no additional cost.

Annual dog registration will enable the delivery of a new digital dog database which will provide up to date information on where dogs live and who owns them.

“The new system will improve the information we have about dogs in the ACT, ensuring we can contact owners quickly if lost or roaming dogs need to be returned to their families,” said Minister for City Services, Chris Steel.

“It will also allow the government to deliver better education and services to pet owners and manage dangerous dogs to help prevent and respond to dog attacks.

“The new system will address challenges with the current lifetime registration system, where 95 per cent of roaming dogs that are retrieved have out of date registration information such as an incorrect phone number or address.

“At the moment there are no triggers for owners to update their information when they move, if ownership of the dog has been transferred to someone else, or if the dog has passed away. The new online system will mean we have better, more accurate and up-to-date information about Canberra’s canine community, improving safety for pets and the community.

From 1 July 2021, dog owners will receive an annual registration reminder notice in the form of an email, text or letter from Domestic Animal Services. This will be provided at least 14 days prior to their dog’s renewal date, allowing time for owners to take action.

The notice will contain details on how to quickly and easily confirm or update their dog’s registration details using an ACT Digital Account.

A dog’s annual registration renewal date will be based on the date they were first registered in the ACT. For example, if you registered your dog in the ACT on 1 September 2020, then your annual renewal date will be 1 September each year.

There will be transitional arrangements for owners whose annual registration would fall due within the first month of these new requirements taking effect. This means that if you registered your dog in the ACT on 15 July 2020, then your annual renewal date will be 15 August 2021.

“Importantly, dog owners can update their registration details before the 1 July start date. This will allow us to easily contact you when your dog’s registration falls due in the first 12 months of the system,” Minister Steel said.

“Canberrans love their dogs, and pets make a great contribution to our community’s wellbeing. At the same time, it is vital we continue to strengthen responsible dog ownership and provide education to the community on how to be a responsible dog owner.

“This includes looking after and taking care of your dog, knowing the nature and temperament of your dog, maintaining effective control of your dog in public places, de-sexing, registration and micro-chipping.”

Canberrans can find out more information on the new annual dog registration process, as well as how to update a dog’s registration details now by visiting

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