Dog Limit per Household by State 2023

Dogs are the most common pet kept by the American household, which is reflected in guidelines that the federal government considered. Generally speaking, these guidelines and rules are mostly targeted toward urban settings, specifically dense urban settings, to cut down on the number of animals in that city. This provides a better life for the animals and reduces the number of nuisance complaints from neighbors and other residents of that community.

Courts have often found that too many dogs within a small space can cause odor, noise, and other noise that does not serve the community's best interest. While this may not be true for some people, it has been generally found that those who live in small areas and have a large number of pets in their living spaces do not care for the pets well, giving a poor quality of life for both the pets and the people around them. Furthermore, urban areas usually contain apartments, condos, and smaller units with strict rules regarding dog limits that must be adhered to. Because of this, there are no set rules but rather sentiments that should be echoed not just by states but by counties and municipalities alike.

Imposing minimums on a state level is difficult, so most restrictions are enforced by counties or even smaller communities if necessary. Although it is a growing trend, it is far from becoming a recognized course of action in many places. Also, enforcement of the number of dogs owned is extremely difficult as animal control does not knock on doors or conduct surveys for the number of animals but only relies on complaints or chance observances. States with a rural population that are laxer in their approach do not have these impositions, like most counties in Texas.

Thirty states have no state limit on the number of dogs that a household can own. Some of these states have restrictions in certain cities or municipalities. For example, most counties in Missouri limit the number of dogs per household to four, and most Nebraska counties set the limit at three dogs per household. Although Washington has a limit, because it is set so high (fifty dogs per household) it is unlikely that many households would reach that limit.

Tennessee sets its limit based on the number of acres the household is situated on. A house with two or more acres can have up to ten dogs while a house on a quarter to half an acre can have only four.

The remaining states allow a household to own one to six dogs. Some states set a limit for all pets in the household, so other animals would be included in this number. California allows a household to own more that the limit of four dogs if they apply for a kennel permit.

Dog Limit per Household by State 2023

Download Table Data

Enter your email below, and you'll receive this table's data in your inbox momentarily.

Dog Limit per Household
AlabamaNoLimitNo limit in the number of dogs you own but you cannot keep more than 3 dogs outside at one time
AlaskaNoLimitno state-wide laws
ArizonaNoLimitno statewide law
California4Limit each household to 3 or 4 dogs over four months old. You can own more dogs than these limits, but doing so requires obtaining a kennel permit.
ColoradoNoLimitno statewide law but most counties and cities limit each household to 4 adult dogs each.
Connecticut6no more than 6 adult (6 months or more old) dogs in a single residence
FloridaNoLimitno legal parameter but owners of three or more dogs would need to follow special rules under a proposed law in the Sunshine State.
Georgia11 dog
HawaiiNoLimitNo limit
IdahoNoLimitno state-wide laws
IllinoisNoLimitno state-wide laws
IndianaNoLimitno state-wide laws but some counties will limit you to 3 dogs
Iowa66 adult dogs and/or cats, including pets
KansasNoLimitno state-wide laws
KentuckyNoLimitno state-wide laws
Louisiana1212 dogs per enclosure
MaineNoLimitno statewide law
MarylandNoLimitno statewide law
MassachusettsNoLimitno statewide law
MichiganNoLimitno statewide law
MinnesotaNoLimitNeed a multiple animal permit if you own 4 or more dogs
MississippiNoLimitno statewide law
MissouriNoLimitno statewide law but most municipalities and counties limit each household to 4 dogs each
Montana22 dogs and must have a multiple animal permit
NebraskaNoLimitno statewide law but most municipalities and counties limit each household to 3 dogs each
New HampshireNoLimitno statewide law
New JerseyNoLimitno statewide law
New MexicoNoLimitno statewide law
New York1
North Carolina3
North Dakota3
OhioNoLimitno statewide law
Oklahoma44 dogs
OregonNoLimitno statewide law
PennsylvaniaNoLimitno statewide law
Rhode Island33 adult dogs
South CarolinaNoLimitno statewide law
South DakotaNoLimitno statewide law
Tennessee10One-quarter acre or less | 3 dogs One-quarter to one-half acree | 4 dogs One-half to three-quarter acre| 5 dogs Three-quarter to one acre | 6 dogs One to two acres | 8 dogs Two to three acres | 10 dogs
VermontNoLimitno statewide law
VirginiaNoLimitno statewide law
West Virginia2
WyomingNoLimitno statewide law
showing: 50 rows

Dog Limit per Household by State 2023