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Dog identification

Proper identification for your dog is an essential part of responsible dog ownership. The most important type of dog identification is his licence. All dogs over three months of age residing in Calgary must possess a City of Calgary licence and they should wear their licence tag whenever they are off their owner’s property. A licence tag indicates to people who may find your dog that he has an owner and needs to be turned in. Dog licences connect people and pets because they allow Animal & Bylaw Services to access important information that will help us reunite you with your dog as soon as possible.

We strongly suggest that all dogs, including indoor dogs, also have permanent identification such as a microchip implant or tattoo in case they are not wearing their license tag when they are brought into our shelter.

Microchip implants

A microchip implant is a reliable form of permanent identification for your dog. Microchips are smaller than a grain of rice and are inserted under the skin by a veterinarian. They contain a code that identifies the dog’s owner, address and phone number. Calgary's animal shelters and veterinary clinics have scanners to read lost pets' microchips so dogs can be quickly reunited with their owners.

Things to remember when micro chipping a pet

  • If you change addresses or phone numbers please update the microchip contact information that will be given out when the microchip number is called in. To do this contact the vet clinic that inserted the microchip or the microchip company directly.
  • When licensing your dog ensure that Animal & Bylaw Services has the proper microchip number recorded for your pet.


Tattoos can be applied to the inside of a dog's ear by a veterinarian. This procedure is usually combined with spay or neuter surgery since the dog must undergo a general anaesthetic to get a tatoo. Unfortunately, tattoos can smear or fade over time, making them difficult to read.​​