Frequently asked questions about the Dog Registry

This column contains FFA responses to frequently asked questions on the identification and registration of dogs and their supervision. The column is regularly updated.

Some of the responses presented in the column are FFA interpretations concerning the application of legislation. These interpretations are not legally binding on other authorities or actors. Ultimately, questions concerning application of the legislation are decided by a court of law.

Dog Registry e-service

In 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry decided that all dogs living in Finland should be microchipped and registered in an official register. The identification and registration of dogs is regulated by the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 68/2022 (previous version 1/2021), which provides for the microchipping of dogs and the microchipping deadlines, the identification certificate and its content, reporting a dog to the register, and reporting changes to the register data, among other matters.

The Ministry deemed that compulsory microchipping and registration could contribute to the responsible breeding and sale of dogs and thus improve their welfare. The Dog Registry does not in itself affect illegal activities, but it can be used as a tool in preventing them. The aims of the registration requirement include identifying operators who sell significant numbers of dogs that are either imported to or bred in Finland.

However, the conditions in which dogs are kept and bred and the smuggling of dogs can best be influenced by changes in the behaviour of those buying dogs. Those considering getting a dog should follow the guidelines of the umbrella organisations in the kennel sector, for example. These help to ensure that all puppies are acquired from responsible breeders. Similarly, if a dog is imported, it should be verified that the importer complies with the import requirements. It is very important that buyers make sure that the dog they are buying is registered in the official registry. If not, the buyer should consider whether the seller wants to hide something. This means that dog keepers and citizens considering buying a dog play a vital role.

It is not a dog tax. The fee collected for the registration of dogs is based on the Act on Criteria for Charges Payable to the State (150/1992), according to which a fee corresponding to the total costs incurred by the state for the provision of a public law service must be charged for the provision of the service. The fee is provided for in a decree issued by the Ministry on the fees of the Finnish Food Authority. The Finnish Food Authority is therefore obligated to recover the costs incurred by it from the administration of the Dog Registry system from the users of the system.

Dogs are registered via an electronic service with strong authentication, which means that reporters must log in with their online banking credentials, for example. In addition to the dog’s information, information about the person who logs in to the service and reports the dog is saved. If a paper form is used for the registration, the dog keeper reports their name and personal identity code and signs the form. If someone reports a dog in another person’s possession under their own name, this information will remain in the register. This risk was identified in connection with the development of the register, and we aim to be prepared for possible problems in different ways. It should also be noted that the Dog Registry is an official register. Reporting false information to an official register is generally punishable under law (registration offence).

When you are buying a dog or otherwise acquiring the keepership of a dog, you receive a code from the previous keeper of the dog to be used in the e-service (a ‘verification of the change’), or you must fill in a form on the change of keepership of the dog with the previous keeper.

If the previous keeper of the dog initiates the change of keepership through the e-service, they will receive a dog-specific verification of the change from the application, which you can use to register the dog under your name. If the previous keeper does not use the e-service, you fill in a paper form with the previous keeper in connection with finalising the sale of the dog and send it to the customer service of the Dog Registry.

Whether a dog is registered in the official register can be verified in advance by asking the current keeper of the dog to provide a certificate of keepership that can be printed from the Registry.

A dog's microchipping is obtained from a private actor (veterinarian or other qualified microchipping service provider) and its price is determined according to the actor's own price list.

Decree by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry states that  the registration fee is 10 € when done in the electronic service and 19€ when done using a paper form or by email.

According to the fee model given by the Ministry, the first keeper of the dog pays for reporting the information on the dog to the register and later, if the dog’s keeper changes, the next keeper will also pay the registration fee when reporting the acquisition of the dog. Such a model was adopted so that not all the costs will burden only the breeders of the dogs.

The Dog Registry is not an ownership register, but information on the dog keeper is provided in connection with the dog's information. The keeper may be one person or multiple, jointly liable persons or parties, but the information for only one keeper is entered in the register.

The size of the fee is be based on the Act on Criteria for Charges Payable to the State (150/1992), according to which a charge corresponding to the total costs incurred by the State from producing a performance under public law must be made. Provisions on the fee will be laid down in the Ministry’s decree on charges payable to the Finnish Food Authority. The Finnish Food Authority cannot and must not profit from the fees.

A link to the Dog Registry is 

The contact details of the customer services can be found here under Koirarekisteri.

The Finnish Food Authority’s Dog Registry uses the list of countries and states available in the Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s code service. This list corresponds to the ISO 3166 standard and does not include Kosovo, for example. There is no ‘other country’ option available in the Dog Registry either. Please register your dog using the countries on the list. If the missing country is added later to the list, you can correct the country of birth.

You can choose any country of birth, regardless of the country code on your dog’s microchip information.

The possibility to transfer information, for example, from the Finnish Kennel Club’s register was investigated when the system was designed. The decision was made not to carry out a transfer as it was not sensible from the point of view of the costs, the workload required or the timetable for opening the Dog Registry.  The information collected by the Finnish Kennel Club has been collected for a different purpose and the information contents of the Finnish Food Authority's Dog Registry and the Finnish Kennel Club are not identical.  Strong identification will be required when the information on the dogs is recorded in the Finnish Food Authority's Dog Registry, whereas this has not been required for reporting the information to the Finnish Kennel Club, especially in the past. It is also possible that the information on the dogs or their keepers is not up to date in the Finnish Kennel Club’s registry.

In addition, the permission for the transfer would have been needed from the keeper (i.e., from the person who reported the information to the Finnish Kennel Club).

At this stage, you should not send your own permission for the transfer to the Finnish Food Authority as we will not transfer information manually at the request of an individual dog keeper. You are welcome to report your dog's details to the Dog Registry.

The purpose of the Dog Registry breed list is to facilitate the reporting of dog information. The breed lists of the following breed associations are used for reporting the breed to the Dog Registry:

FCU (Fédération Cynologique Internationale)
Finnish Kennel Club
NKU (Nordic Kennel Union)

The breed lists were selected as the basis for the breed list in the official register due to their coverage. These lists do not include several more or less established breeds whose breeding is carried out by actors outside the umbrella organisations in the kennel sector.

The breed information stored in the Dog Registry is intended to be used by the authorities as an aid to supervision. Breed information provided in the official register is based only on the keeper’s own declaration, i.e. it is not a guarantee of the dog’s actual breed, or that the dog is entered in a register maintained by any breed association. Similarly, not declaring a breed does not mean that the dog is not entered in a register maintained by a breed association or another organisation.

If the breed of the dog is not found in the list of breeds, or the dog is a mixed breed, enter ‘Other’ as the breed. In this case, you are also required to describe the dog’s external characteristics and enter an estimate of the dog’s size.  The same text field can also be used to indicate the breed of dogs whose breed is not included in the dropdown menu.

The register’s breed list may be improved later by adding breeds, for example, but due to the challenging development schedule of the register, we unfortunately cannot promise such changes in the near future. Only the breeding of purebred bovine, porcine, ovine, caprine and equine animals is regulated at EU level. No legislation exists on dog breeds or the administration and administrators of breed registers. Breeding not covered by the most well-known umbrella organisations in the kennel sector can vary from very organised activities to private activities carried out by individuals, so adding breeds to the breed list of the Dog Registry requires careful consideration and cannot be based solely on the operators’ declarations.

The dog keeper must report any changes to the dog's information in the register within one month, including change of possession of the dog. When the dog keeper changes, both the old and new keeper must report the change. With keeper change the new keeper pays registration fee. 

If the dog is sold abroad, the most recent keeper of the dog in Finland must update information on the export of the dog in the register. 

Registering a dog in a register maintained by a private party does not exempt you from having to report the dog to the official register. The Dog Registry is an official register and no data from any third party will be automatically transferred to it. The requirements of general administrative legislation concerning data protection, information security and the legal protection of animal keepers must always be taken into account in official activities. However, as part of the Dog Registry development project, the FFA will extensively examine the possibilities of utilising different interface and data transfer solutions along with the willingness of stakeholders to implement the interface. Any data transferred from or to existing stakeholder registers may be done through a data transfer interface implemented by the FFA and only with the consent of the dog keeper.

As a rule, everything from the birth of the puppy, or if the puppy is handed over to a new keeper before the age of 3 months, the measures must be taken before the puppy is handed over.

In a normal situation, where puppies are transferred from the breeder to new owners/keepers at an age of approximately two months, the breeder must have the puppies chipped and enter the information in the official register before the puppies are handed over. After the puppy is handed over, both the breeder of the pups and the new keepers must update the register. In connection with development of the register, an effort will be made to develop solutions that would enable the simultaneous notification of changes in litter data and owner/keeper data.

No report is needed for a temporary change in possession of the dog that lasts less than three months. The Dog Registry is not an ownership register, but information on the dog keeper is provided in connection with the dog's information. The keeper may be the owner of the dog or another person keeping the dog, for example, at a “placement home”. Therefore, if the dog was originally reported as being in your possession, these changes do not require any action.


Information on dogs imported from abroad must be entered in the register within four weeks of arrival. If the dog is transferred to the new keeper before this, the information must be entered in the register before the handover to the new keeper. In practice, rescue associations must report the dogs they bring to Finland to the register. Once the dogs have been handed over to the new keepers, the information must be updated in the register within one month by both the association and the dogs' new keepers. In connection with the development of the register, an effort will be made to develop solutions that would enable the simultaneous notification of changes in dogs and its keepers information.

Dogs arriving in Finland from another country are permanently entered in the register. Dogs temporarily residing in Finland do not need to be entered in the register if their stay in Finland lasts for less than three months. However, if you travel regularly between different countries, it is a good idea to report the dog to the register so that, if necessary, information on the dog keeper can be obtained from the register, such as in case the dog runs away.

Finland has several registers maintained by various commercial operators or voluntary associations, which offer registration services for dogs. Reporting a dog to such a register is always voluntary for the dog keeper, and registering a dog in a register maintained by a private party does not exempt you from having to report the dog to the official register.

The  login link of the official Dog Registry maintained by the FFA is 

You can always log in to the official animal register maintained by the FFA via the direct login link on the website

No, it is not. The dog register contains the personal data of the dog keeper(s), which is not public data. The data in the Dog Registry can only be used and disclosed under certain conditions. The Dog Registry is mainly intended for official use. Access to the information may also be granted to a private organisation commissioned by the authority to the extent that the information is necessary for carrying out a mandate. Such actors that operate under the authority's mandate include animal shelters, which temporarily take care of dogs that have been found and picked up in the municipality on the basis of an agreement concluded with the municipality. The information in the Dog Registry can also be used in research. The disclosure of data for other purposes requires the explicit consent of the dog keeper.

The decree on the identification and registration of dogs requires that the Finnish FFA or a party authorised by them keep a list of persons qualified for setting microchips in dogs. Under current animal welfare legislation, a person with sufficient knowledge of the technique of setting microchips and sufficient skills to perform the procedure may set microchips in dogs. Further provisions on the qualification requirements for microchip setters will be laid down in the coming Animal Welfare Act, which will enter into force in 2024. In practice, the FFA may only start keeping a list of persons qualified to set microchips in dogs after more detailed provisions have been stipulated for the qualification requirements. More detailed information on the practical implementation of the list will be provided once the qualification requirements have been clarified. For the time being, persons who are even currently setting microchips in dogs or training for that purpose may continue to operate within the framework of the current legislation.

The decree requires that the dog be marked with a microchip. Identification by tattooing alone is not enough. It should also be noted that a microchip can also be used as an identification mark when travelling from one country to another, whereas a tattoo is only accepted for this purpose if it was made before 3 July 2011.

The person who implants the microchip will issue the dog with an identification certificate and the keeper will report the information in the certificate to the register. The price of microchipping and the identification certificate well be determined according to the price list of the person implanting the microchip (a veterinarian or other competent microchipper). If the dog has already been chipped before, it is not necessary to get a separate identification certificate. Instead, the dog can be reported to the register, for example, through the electronic service using the information in its other documents. 

Compliance with the provisions on the identification and registration of dogs and other animals is supervised by the competent authorities, provisions on which have been laid down in the Act on Animal Identification and Registration. The authorities overseeing the identification of dogs are the municipal control veterinarians and other municipal veterinarians and the veterinarians of the Regional State Administrative agencies. When animals are moved between the Member States, the inspectors of the centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment also have the right to supervision. In spaces used for permanent housing, in other words, within the so-called domiciliary peace, the identification and registration of animals can be supervised only when the strict conditions separately laid down in legislation are met. For example, the kennel buildings or outdoor kennels are as a rule not considered to be covered by domestic peace. In practice, the identification and registration of dogs will be mainly supervised in connection with other supervision, such as animal welfare inspections.

In connection with the reform of animal welfare legislation it was regulated in the Act on Access to and Pursuit of the Profession of Veterinary Surgeon that veterinarians have an obligation to report diagnoses concerning hereditary defects in order to better monitor compliance with the prohibitions on animal breeding. These reports would be recorded in the forthcoming Dog Registry as from 2024. Provisions on the procedures that would be subject to the notification are due to be laid down in more detail in the decree issued under the Animal Welfare Act. The legislative procedure concerning these proposed legislative amendments is still under way. More information will be communicated on the matter when the legislative amendments progress.


Page last updated 12/20/2023