Pet Licensing

Licensing provides pets with needed identification and the community with the peace of mind that the animal is properly vaccinated and has an owner. Animals without tags are considered stray and are at risk of being stolen or unidentifiable in the instance of an accident. Keeping your pet’s license current and attached to their collar provides them with a greater chance of a safe return home in the instance they become lost. 

How to License Your Pet

Pet owners in the city of Dubuque should license dogs and cats through PetData, a company that specializes in pet licensing services throughout the country. The pet owner is responsible for licensing within 30 days of acquiring a pet (or when the pet is 6 months old). PetData allows year-round license sales. Licenses expire one year from the original date of purchase and must be renewed every year. Licenses can be purchased through PetData via mail or purchased online (a small transaction fee applies). 

Once a pet is licensed, a courtesy annual renewal invoice is mailed to pet owners from Dubuque Animal Licensing. It is important to ensure your address is up to with PetData and with your veterinarian.

Licensing New Pets

Mail current rabies vaccination certificate and proof of spaying/neutered (if it applies) for each pet to:

Dubuque Animal Licensing
c/o PetData
PO Box 141929
Irving TX 75014-1929 


  • Spayed/neutered dog or cat - $14.00 
  • Non-spayed/non-neutered dog or cat - $34.00 
  • Delinquent fee for dogs and cats - $16.00
  • Replacement tag - $5.00 

Make check or money order payable to Dubuque Animal Licensing. 

NOTE: You will need the reference number from the mailing to purchase the license online. Each animal has it’s own reference number, so you will need to register each pet individually. 

If you have any further questions about licensing, you can contact PetData at 1-800-738-3463 or City of Dubuque Animal Control at 563.589.4185.

Penalty Fees

All dog and cat licenses issued under this division shall expire one year from the date the license was initially purchased and shall become delinquent 30 days after the license anniversary date. A delinquent fee of $16 shall be added to the required license fee for each delinquent dog license.


Individuals who do not license their pets or do not properly display current City tags on their pets may be issued a civil citation, which will require a court appearance and be subject to fines. 

Lost Tags

If a pet’s tag is lost, a duplicate may be purchased from PetData for $5.00

Identifying Pets

Thousands of animals find their way into shelters each year without any form of identification. Unfortunately, without identification we are unable to reunite them with their families. Purchasing a license for your dogs and cats will help ensure your special companion can be returned home quickly and safely.

In Dubuque all dogs and cats over the age of six months are required by law to be licensed and vaccinated against rabies. The license tag should be securely attached to the pets collar at all times. Licenses can only be issued with proof of current rabies vaccination.  If your vet is outside of the city limits of Dubuque and does not report rabies vaccinations, you must submit proof of rabies when sending the license fee. Also, if an animal is spayed or neutered, proof is required in order to license the animal at the reduced rate.

Transferring Licenses

Licenses/tags are not transferable from one pet to another or from one owner to another. If a pet is sold, given away, or dies this should be reported to Animal Control at 563-589-4185 and the new owner must license the pet in their name. Owners are responsible for providing Animal Control with this information. 

Why PetData?

The City’s Health Services Department researched the issuing of pet licenses in 2008 and chose PetData to provide a pet-licensing service. Because of the increasing number of pet licenses and inefficiencies in the systems, the City elected to pursue more consumer-friendly options for purchasing pet licenses. 

PetData allows for more accurate pet license invoice mailings and record keeping. This benefits the citizens, pet owners, and the City’s Animal Control staff. In addition, less staff is needed, resulting in significant savings for the city.

For additional information, call the Health Services Department at 563-589-4181.