Getting A Dog License in Malaysia (A Complete Guide)

Are you a dog owner in Malaysia and wondering if it’s necessary to get a dog license? It is, in fact important to get one. In this article, we'll you why and how to go about when getting a dog license in Malaysia.

When someone mentions caring for your dog’s wellbeing, your mind immediately jumps to sourcing nutritious diet options, vaccinations, and even getting your pooch pet insurance for the best healthcare available in the country. 

But, getting your furbaby a dog licence is EQUALLY important!


According to local statistics, the number of licensed pet dogs in Malaysia is only estimated to be between 20% and 30%. That’s putting a whole lot of pups at serious risk of being picked up by the local authorities. 

We don’t mean to scare you but it’s worth noting that such cases have been increasing recently. As a responsible pet lover, you should always do your best to avoid that from happening.

Here’s everything you need to know about getting a dog license in Malaysia.

1. Do Dogs Need A License In Malaysia?

Yes, all dogs require a license to be legally owned in Malaysia.

2. How Many Dogs Can You Own In Malaysia?

This depends on the size of your home. The rules vary between various city and district councils, but basically, the more room you have, the more doggos you get to own.

If you live on a landed property in Kuala Lumpur (KL) with an area of more than 300 square meters, you are allowed up to 2 dogs. You’re allowed one dog if your area is any less.

If you live in an apartment or condominium, you’re allowed one small dog, according to the KL City Council (DBKL), 

As per DBKL laws, small dogs are referred to as any of these breeds:

  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Bichon Frise
  • Pekinese
  • Papilon
  • Poodle (Toy)
  • Japanese Chin
  • Maltese
  • Pomeranian
  • Chihuahua

Unfortunately, you won’t be allowed a dog license if you live in a condominium in Penang or Johor. Once again, these rules vary according to your local council and are at the discretion of your city’s mayor. If a case can be made that your dog is well cared for and won’t cause any trouble to your neighbours, a license may be granted. 

3. How To Apply For A Dog License In Malaysia?

Infographic provided by instafamous vet, Dr Teoh.

Here’s what you need to start your application (As per DBKL dog license application)

  1. 2 copies of your Identity Card (IC) - don’t worry if the address on your IC isn’t where you’re currently living ( where your pooch lives)
  2. 2 passport-sized photograph copies of yourself, the dog owner.
  3. 1 full body picture of your handsome pooch.
  4. A copy of a utility bill (water or electricity) - it doesn’t matter if it’s under someone else’s name (most likely your parent’s or your landlord’s)
  5. If you’re living in an apartment/condominium, you’ll need a permission letter from the Joint Management Body (JMB) or Management Corporation (MC)
  6. If your dog is on the list of prohibited/restricted breeds, you’d need a training letter that proves your pooch has gone through necessary behavioural training.

You’ll then receive the license with a tag for your pup and an official receipt.

If you live in Kuala Lumpur, check out this manual for online application for a step by step guide to apply for your dog license, 

4. How Much Does A Dog Licence Cost?

Depending on your local council, dog license fees range from RM4 to RM20 per year. Some Municipal Councils offer lower fees for a neutered/spayed dog. In Kuala Lumpur, the fee is RM10 per year.
Either submit your application online (where available) or in person. If your online application is granted, print your bill and head to the nearest counter to make payment. If rejected, you’re allowed one opportunity to appeal the decision. The appeal will be processed within 14 working days.

Infographic by Dr Teoh, who is a strong proponent of pet blood donations in Malaysia.

5. What Are Your Responsibilities As Dog Owner Of A Licensed Dog?

Getting your dog a license is a big deal for you too! It’s an official document that holds a lot of power. And with great power comes great responsibility!

Being a responsible paw-rent means you’d need to make sure your pooch is provided with suitable shelter and food. It’s your responsibility to protect your furbaby from pain, suffering, injury and disease. And, you can be held accountable if your pet exhibits any abnormal or uncharacteristic behaviour.

Infographic by Dr Teoh, who believes that why stop at a dog license, pet insurance is equally vital!

6. Why Is It Important To Own A Dog License?

Well firstly, it’s the law, and we all want to be good law-abiding Malaysian and shining examples to our kids (and pups), don’t we? Plus, the fine is in excess of RM2000, and it’s really troublesome to get your dog back once it’s caught. Why go through all that hassle for a measly RM10 a year?

Also, in the unfortunate event that your dog goes missing, with a license tag (along with a microchip), it’s a whole lot easier to locate.

7. Is A Pet Passport The Same As  A Dog License?

No, it isn’t. A pet passport or an animal identification card (IC) is totally a different entity. It gives owners and their pets that extra bit of protection as it carries microchip details. Also, getting a pet passport issued by the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia (DVS) will get your dog automatically and legally registered under the Animal Welfare Act. 

8. How Often Does My Dog’s License Need To Be Renewed?

All dog licences in Malaysia are issued for a period of one year. Your license will therefore need to be renewed annually.

9. What If My Dog(s) Are Always Indoors? Do They Still Need A Dog License? 

Yes, they do. Any unlicensed pup can be taken away by the authorities, even tiny cute ones that never go outside, and especially if there are complaints.

10. Can A Licensed Dog Be Released Without The Supervision Of Its Owner?

No. Getting a dog license doesn’t mean your dog can’t be picked up by the authorities if found unattended. Always supervise your pup in public and help build a more dog-friendly society here in beautiful Malaysia.

In Conclusion

Being a paw-rent can be tough; we get it. But it’s equally as rewarding in the long run, and there’s nothing more important than doing everything you can to keep your furbabies safe. Do the right thing, get your dog a license today!