Dog Limit per Household by State 2023

Federal Guidelines Regarding Number of Dogs

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.

States With Low Maximum Dog Allowance

Counties can usually produce ordinances for their citizens without the risk of being challenged successfully. Notably, a county judge from Minnesota ruled that an ordinance in a specific county in Michigan was invalid because the evidence for that ordinance was not based on any available facts. This was taken to the Georgia Supreme Court, which ruled the ordinance conflicted with the constitution because the ordinance did not include the criteria owners must satisfy for permits to keep more than four animals.

Michigan is a state that has high urban sprawl, mainly due to its position on the Canadian border and its cold climate. The county of Holland, Michigan, has an ordinance in place for two dogs per household, regardless of the building type. Of course, it outlines permits where necessary to obtain more animals. Dog owners can spend up to a few months in jail unless they are willing to part with their animals or move or obtain a permit. Oakland, California, is another such county with a similar ordinance of three dogs per household.

States With High Allowance

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.

Dog Limit per Household by State 2023