How Many Dogs Can I Have, legally?

A question that has been coming up lately from Denver Relocation buyers is about the number of allowable pets one can have in a residence.

I decided to do a little research on the answer and of course as luck would have it, there is no one right answer!  It depends upon which county one lives in. (NOTE: Originally when I did this research I linked to each of the county regulations.  For some reason all the counties with the exception of Denver decided to move that documentation.  I suggest you do a Google search for the county you are interested in learning about.  I cannot spend my time tracking down moving data! Sorry!)

So here’s the results of my research:

Douglas County: Household pets are permitted in all zoning districts where residences are permitted.  Household pets include, but are not limited to, dogs, cats, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits, fish, gerbils, hamsters, parakeets, parrots, cockatiels, provided they are not raised for commercial purposes.

A maximum number of 4 cats, dogs or a combination of four of these animals are allowed per house.  In order to have more than four cats or dogs, you must be located in the A-1 or LRR zoning district and receive use by special review approval for a kennel, form the County Commissioners.

Denver County: Allowable 3 dogs, 5 cats, 2 rabbits, or 25 pigeons, or 5 total dogs and cats, not exceeding 3 dogs) no exotic pets or farm animals.

Jefferson County: The maximum total number of dogs, cats and similar domesticated pets which may be kept shall be 3. Litters of puppies or kittens may be kept  until weaned.

Arapahoe County:   There shall be a maximum combination of three dogs, cats, small animals, and reptiles over the age of six (6) months per household. except as otherwise set forth within the Land Development Code.

Adams County:  After spending an hour searching their very unfriendly site, I gave up and called the County for help.  The nice lady was able to direct me to the precise location of the information after about a dozen non-intuitive clicks! If you get lost look for “animal keeping” under Design Requirements and Performances Standards in the Adams County Development manual.  Since Adams County is mostly rural the rules for household animals changes with the size of the land.  An ordinary house on a city lot can have 3 dogs 3 cats, 2 chinchillas, 2 ferrets, 2 guinea pigs, for a maximum of 10.

At a 1/2 acre lot the cat count goes to 4 but still only 3 dogs, with the same number of other pets as in the less than 1/2 acre requirement.  At 2-5 acres a homeowner is allowed to have 4 dogs.  More acres more dogs!

On a trivia note in Adams County when you have 1/2 acre or more you can have 4 Alpacas, 4 beefalo, 5 colonies of bees, 4 cattle, 50 chickens, 50 Chincillas, 4 deer, 40 emus, 50 ferrets, 8 goats, 50 guinea pigs, 4 horses, 4 llamas, 4 mules, 15 ostriches, 50 rabbits, 8 sheep, 8 swine and 50 turkeys.  The maximum allowable amount of all pets combined is 20.

Broomfield: Citizens living in Brooomfield are allowed four adult animals in each residence.  Animals over six months of age are considered adults.  This does not apply to fish or birds.  Livestock, fowl, exotic animals, wildlife, or endangered species are not allowed as pets within the City and County of Broomfield.  Non-poisonous snakes and ferrets are allowed.

Elbert County: Domestic animals, such as dogs and cats (not more than four (4) animals of more than four (4) months of age), are permitted in all districts, provided they are not bred, boarded, sold, trained or groomed for commercial purposes.

Bottom line, if you love dogs and need to have the maximum, allowable number in your household, you best bet is to live in one of the following counties:

  • Douglas County
  • Adams County
  • Broomfield County
  • Elbert County

7 thoughts on “How Many Dogs Can I Have, legally?

  1. kristalk Post author

    I could be wrong, but I don't think a ferret would be considered as a "exotic animal." To me exotics are lions, tigers and alligators…

  2. kristalk Post author

    You will need to check on the specific area you are moving too. I remember researching you can have more pets under a certain age, but I'm not sure about the rules for breeding.

    Have you located your home yet?

  3. Pingback: Moving to Denver area and have 5 small dogs any advise on housing and dog laws? - City-Data Forum

  4. Steven

    Update Denver County- u an have chickens and goats now…I am wondering about Pot belly pigs though. Anyone know?

  5. Kristal Kraft Denver Realtor Post author

    Michelle, I know you know Google is your friend! :)
    Here’s what I found;
    “Council Bill 548 would amend the Municipal Code to allow 2 domestic honey bee hives per residential zone lot. It also includes where on your lot you can locate the hives and requirements for screening.”
    Council bill 548 passed so you and your bees can get buzzing, so to speak!

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