Boston’s Most Popular Dog Names; Dog Licensing Deadline is March 31

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The most popular dog name in Boston for 2021 was Luna. Residents registered 112 Lunas.

That reminds us, Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s Animal Care and Control Division would like city dog owners to know that the annual deadline for licensing their pets is March 31. All dogs in Boston require a new license each year.

“Not only is licensing your pet the law, but a license is your pet’s ID and provides their fastest ticket home if they become lost,” said Animal Care and Control Director Alexis Trzcinski via press release. “We like to remind owners that if your dog ever gets out, the chances of being reunited are greatly increased with a license.”

The Animal Care and Control Division also revealed the most popular dog names of 2021.

The most popular male dog name in 2021 was Charlie with 82 registered in Boston, and the top female name registered was the aforementioned Luna with 112 registered. Other male names in the top ten were Teddy, Oliver, Max, Ollie, Milo, Cooper, Toby, Rocky, and Finn. The top ten female names included Bella, Lucy, Daisy, Penny, Lola, Stella, Molly, Bailey, and Rosie.

The city also noted the most popular dog breeds registered in Boston. In 2021 the top breeds included 1,833 registered Labrador retrievers, 703 golden retrievers, 442 Chihuahuas, 422 German shepherds, 345 beagles, 329 Yorkshire terriers, 307 miniature poodles, 303 shih tzus, 278 Australian shepherds, and 275 pit bulls. And just so we all know, there were 143 Boston terriers.

All dog owners need to license their dogs by Thursday, March 31, 2022. Dogs must be licensed if they are older than six months. Owners must provide a copy of their dog’s current rabies certificate to be registered, and for spayed and neutered pets, owners must submit proof of spaying or neutering if they have not done so previously.

Licensing fees are minimal, only $15 for a neutered male or spayed female, or $30 for an intact male or female. The dog licensing fee is waived for service animals and residents age 70 and older. Owners must also pay any outstanding Animal Care and Control fines, and the fine for an unlicensed dog is $50. Please call 617-635-5348 or email if you have any questions about the licensing process or to update your information in the database.

For an in-depth guide on dog licensing, including a link to license your dog online, visit Animal Care and Control’s how-to article.

The city will also host a series of dog licensing and pet vaccine clinics from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays from March 5 to June 4 at seven BCYF community centers. For details, fees, and locations please visit, or call 617-635-1800.