Dog Owner Responsibilities


All dogs in New Westminster are required by law to wear a current dog licence. There is no minimum age so be sure to get your new puppy's licence right away. There is a limit of three dogs on any parcel of land or real property. Annual licence fees, forms, and general information can be found on the dog licensing page.

Municipal dog licences are a valuable form of identification for your dog, and serve as proof of ownership. Dog licensing statistics provide important data when it comes to planning and developing dog-related services, such as off-leash areas. Also, the revenue from dog licensing fees helps fund the operation of the animal shelter, where we care for abandoned and unwanted animals.


Many off-leash dog areas have been created throughout the city to help exercise your four-legged friends. With the exception of these designated areas, dogs are required by law to be leashed when off their owner’s property. Our animal services officers patrol city parks and trails to uphold the leash bylaw. A full list of designated off-leash areas and rules can be found at


Dogs bark occasionally. We understand. However, it is up to you to ensure that your dog is not causing a disturbance in your neighbourhood with excessive barking or vocalization. We see an increase in barking reports when the weather warms up. Not leaving your dog unattended outside, and reducing their visual and aural triggers will help. If your dog has anxiety about being left alone, a professional trainer can help.

Aggressive Behaviour

You are responsible to ensure that your dog does not display aggressive behaviour toward or cause an injury to other animals or to people. This is another important reason to keep your dog leashed.