What you need to know

How Many Dogs Can You Own?

Ameera Mills
By Ameera Mills. Updated: September 2, 2018
How Many Dogs Can You Own?

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For all of those who love and choose to adopt dogs, there comes a responsibility to give the dog a space where it can enjoy the love of a family. These lovely people sometimes feel a predisposition to offer a home to not only one, but many dogs However, in terms of legality, it is important to know how many animals a person can own in one home by law. Many things need to be taken into consideration, including prioritizing the welfare of each animal in the home.

This is why in this AnimalWised article, we aim to discuss with you how many dogs you can have at home, by law. We will be informing you about the laws that surround this subject and what you should consider before adopting more than one dog.

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How many dogs can I have own by law?

In some countries, the amount of pets that a person can house at home is regulated by law. Although dogs are allowed in all countries without any definitive laws, the number of these dogs are controlled.

In American, for example, if you live in a rural area, the amount of dogs you can own is not restricted. However, if you live in a city, there is a general rule of two to three dogs allowed per household. The reason for these laws in urban areas, is to control nuisances that can be caused in smaller and closer spaces. The limits are also sometimes controlled by where you live, for example: an owner of an apartment building might set their own rules on how many dogs you are allowed to have in your apartment. If you have more than three dogs, some people apply for a special kennel license. This license may include extra fees, more rules and even inspections. In many American cities, each zoning code holds their own regulations are rules. Therefore, depending on where you live, it will affect how many dogs you are legally allowed to own.

There is no current limit on the amount of dogs you can own in the UK, however, if you are breeding, you do need a Council License.

How to know how many dogs you can have at home?

Even though many laws are not specific in relation to the number of dogs a person can have, it needs to be clear that the priority is to offer a positive environment for our dogs. It is important to be able to provide essential care for the welfare of our pets. Their needs and specific characteristics need to be respected, as well as the legality of this ownership. Here are five important points to consider:

  • Time and space: it is not difficult to imagine that to raise several domestic animals, it takes much more time and space than having just a single pet. You need to know that each animal has the space and that you have the time to give each animal the affection that it requires. In addition, you must also consider the size and energy (or need for daily physical activity) of each dog to know if it can adapt to your home and lifestyle.
  • Budget and economic scope: in addition to love and dedication, you also need to be sure that you can provide for each dog economically. The cost of providing optimal nutrition, an enriched environment, good education and adequate preventive medicine for every dog is important. Therefore, it is necessary to budget and plan well before you adopt more than one dog.
  • Temperament and personality of each dog: as well as humans, dogs have different temperaments, showing greater or less ease of coexistence with other individuals. Every animal is unique and has a very specific personality and temperament, and this needs to be taken into consideration to avoid pets clashing and fighting. For example, the coexistence of two puppies usually works great, while the combination of a puppy and an older dog can be a little more complicated and delicate. Therefore, if you adopt a new dog, you need to make sure that they are introduced to your current animals, and that they are well trained to be around each other.
  • Socialization: independent of its character, every dog ​​needs to be properly socialized to learn to relate positively and share its environment with other people and pets. Ideally, we recommend starting the process of socialization during a dog's puppy stage, after completing its first cycle of vaccines and deworming. However, it is also possible to socialize an adult dog with patience and positive reinforcement.
  • Planning: As we have already mentioned, dogs need daily care to stay healthy, happy and strong. This means that their owners must consciously plan and manage making time for a dog (or more) and their own lives. If you choose to adopt a dog, you need to make sure that their needs are met in order to make sure your dog is happy, healthy and behaves well.
How Many Dogs Can You Own? - How to know how many dogs you can have at home?

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nicholas pommier
my neighbor has 8 dogs . 4 outside and 4 inside. he lives withen 200 ft. of my house. if i go outside these dogs a lot if they see me. if any one comes to my house they start barking and will bark until we go in the house. if any one goes outside of his neighbors house they bark excessively until they go in the house. we cannot go outside for any length of time without all this barking. even the inside dog have to come outside to take care of buisness and bark also.what can we do?
Matt Hunt
I hav a question someone in my neighborhood has at least 50 sled dogs alaskan huskies they bark and howl content. They are all each staked on a 4' to 8' chain each have a house but they never get trained or exercised and the owner says only 20# s of dog food q day for all is this right
Administrador AnimalWised

If the dogs are not being allowed to exercise and they are underfed, it is likely this constitutes animal abuse (we certainly think it is, but it depends on the legal guidelines). Also, if they person has 50 dogs, they will need a special permit. If they do not have one, it is unlikely they are running a legal operation. However, it does depend on the local laws, so we recommend contacting your city/region's local animal services and report them you findings.
I have a lot of dogs but now city of mosspoint say I have to give my baby's up that I just can have 5 what can I do to keep my dogs
beth cornacchio
what if a person has 12 dogs in their house
Darren Burns
your alowed to own as many dogs at home as you like in the uk, but need to apply for a breeders license , how long has the law ben in place allowing you the amount of dogs you can own?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Darren,

We are unsure when the original law was put in place, but it all comes under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Hope this helps!
clark H. Siminski
I live in a small house in Buffalo. Just recently a couple moved in next door with three large Bull Dogs And now they have a pregnant rottweiler ready to have babes. these dogs bark consently where we cant set in the yard or porch > I believe they have a puppy mill for fighting dogs. How can I have this situation checked? We a 75 years old and are affarid to walk into our own yard. Please help two seniors.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Clark,

This is a tricky situation. If you really think your neighbor is creating a puppy mill or they are actively involved in dog fighting, then this will be a legal issue. There is an anonymous and confidential help line you can call on 1-877-MILL-TIP. They will ask questions and see if it is worth investigating. With 4 dogs, it sounds like maybe they won't. It is always possible the Rottweiler was impregnated accidentally.

If it is a noise complaint, then calling the police probably won't help. You can fill out a noise complaint online with your local animal services. They will begin what can be quite a long process and it may not even work out in your favor (we are not saying it's not a good option, just that it can be difficult).

If you are sure your neighbors are involved in criminal activity and your safety would be in jeopardy by approaching them, then it will be a police matter. If not, you should think about simply talking to them. Tell them your problem and see if you can come to an arrangement. It's not an easy situation, but you do have options available. We hope this helps and you are able to get this matter resolved.
I have four dogs and according to law enforcement i much take 2of my dogs away i want to know how many dogs can you own on your private property
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Nadine,

It would depend on your local laws, but it would depend on the size, whether you were using the animals for business, whether the dogs were in unsanitary conditions, etc. There would be a lot to consider, but too many dogs at once would be cruel and may have involvement from animal services.
Barbara E Mitchell
2 years ago my Sister passed away then my mother. They lived togerher they had my puppies(3) when they passed i felt iwas obliged to take them. Now i have 5 they are very small dogs. I need to no how to get a proper licence to keep them.
charlene Macias
I'm kinda in the same situation as well. Please can someone answer to help out what proper license do we need to keep our animals ill do what ever it takes.
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How Many Dogs Can You Own?