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NYC Dog Walking Rules

Taking your pooch out for an early morning stroll is a simple, almost mindless task that millions of owners do on a daily basis. But what many people may not realize is that there are a slew of rules strictly enforced by the state to make sure that the experience is enjoyable and safe for you and your pets. Here’s what you need to know about walking your dog in New York City and New Jersey.

  1. Your Dog Must Be Licensed

New York State law and New Jersey Law require that all owned dogs be licensed. Furthermore, the NYC Health Code requires that every dog owner have a tag attached to their dog’s collar. The annual fee to license your spayed or neuteredNew Yoprk dog is $8.50. If they are not, the fee is $34. You can easily apply or renew your dog’s license at their website here. https://a816-healthpsi.nyc.gov/DogLicense/Login.do

  1. Your Dog Must Be Leashed

If you are walking your dog in a public or open space, it is mandatory that your dog be on a leash. The leash must also be no longer than six feet.

  1. You Must Pick Up After Your Dog

Section 1310 of the New York State public health code is called the “pooper scooper law.” This means you must clean up after your pooch, no matter where they relieve themselves on the street.

  1. Your Dog Must Be Vaccinated

All dogs over the age of three months must be immunized against rabies. In the event that your dog bites someone and your dog has not received its rabies vaccination or you cannot provide paperwork, your dog will be quarantined.

  1. Your Dog Should Not Create a Public Nuisance or Be Considered Vicious or Dangerous

If you are walking your dog in public, they must not cause any sort of disturbance in a public place or open area. Additionally, if your dog is determined to be vicious or dangerous (your dog terrorizes a person when unprovoked, attacks when unprovoked, etc.), your pet must be muzzled during walks.


If you live in the New Jersey area, the above laws are exactly the same except for the leash law. There is no statewide leash law, but your specific county might have one. To find out, contact your local animal control office.