How Many Dogs Can You Have in New York State? An Owner’s Guide

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If you are a dog owner and live in New York State, you might have some questions or concerns when it comes to the laws regarding your pets. One of the more common questions that dog owners ask is how many dogs are you allowed to own in New York State? Is there even a limit? How many dogs someone can own is quite a common concern among dog lovers, so I did some research, and this is what I found out.

There are no state-level laws in New York State, limiting the number of dogs a person can own. However, many municipalities within New York regulate the number of animals you’re allowed to keep on a property. Landlords can also limit the number of pets that are allowed to stay on their properties.

Laws, especially in regards to pet ownership and restrictions, can sometimes be quite confusing. That’s why today, I’ll go over some of the most common questions regarding how many dogs you can own in New York State.

How Many Dogs Can You Own in New York State?

New York is overall a pretty friendly state for dog owners. There are minimal laws that restrict dog owners. The current legislation is relatively relaxed regarding dogs and the rules that go along with having pets in the state.

In New York State, there are no state-wide laws that regulate the number of dogs someone can own or that you can keep on a property within the state.

However, this doesn’t mean that you’re allowed to have as many dogs as you would like if you live in New York State. There are many other laws below the state level that can restrict how many dogs you can have. What rules apply and whether they will affect you depends on where you live in the state.

While the state doesn’t have any laws regarding the maximum number of dogs someone can own, cities often have restrictions. There are also a few other laws and regulations to look out for, but I’ll get into those later in this post. In the following sections, I’ll go into more detail regarding the specific laws in some of the major cities in New York State.

To check out the full list of laws regarding animals in New York State, check out Article 26 on the official New York State Senate’s website.

Restrictions on How Many Dogs You Can Own In Major New York Cities

The maximum number of dogs that someone can keep on-premises varies from city to city within New York State.

Just to be clear, most of these laws regulate how many dogs can someone can keep at a dwelling or premises, but they do not restrict how many dogs an individual can own. Technically, someone could own THOUSANDS of dogs, but they couldn’t keep them in on a single property in most cities in New York.

New York City

The largest city in the entire United States, New York, is surprisingly an amiable city for dogs and dog owners. Despite the city’s extremely high population density, there are no laws that state a maximum number of dogs a person can own.

No laws regulate how many dogs someone can own or keep in a dwelling in New York City. However, there are some pretty strict laws regarding the sanitation of where animals live, which can influence how many animals are realistically able to be kept on a property.

To see all the laws regarding animals in New York City, check out Article 161: Animals.


While Buffalo, New York, is generally welcoming to dog owners, there are a few regulations regarding how many dogs someone can have in different types of residences and properties.

Single-family homes, double-family homes, and commercial properties are allowed to have three dogs over the age of four months old. Properties classified as multiple dwellings and having three or more units are permitted to house one dog per unit.

Pet shops, kennels, veterinary hospitals, and other establishments with valid licenses usually do not have to abide by these rules.

If you want to see the law’s exact wording regarding the number of dogs allowed in certain dwellings, check out § 78-19.1.


Much like the previous city that we talked about, Rochester, New York, has some laws regarding how many dogs you’re allowed to have in different residences and dwellings.

For properties with three or fewer units, you’re allowed to own and keep up to four dogs that are older than four months. Properties that have four units or more are allowed to have one dog per household that is four months or older.

These rules apply to residences and properties that do not have a valid license that identifies them as an official veterinary hospital, kennel, pet shop, or other establishments of this sort.

To read through the full laws regarding the number of dogs allowed in certain types of residences, look at § 31-11.

Other Rules and Laws To Look Out for Regarding Owning Dogs in New York State

Now that you understand a little more about the rules and laws around how many dogs you can own in some of the major cities in New York State, there are a few other things you should know just to be on the safe side.

You might already know a few of these things, but for those that don’t and have a dog or plan to get one, it’s probably worth your time to read up on the laws and regulations around dogs in New York State.

Landlords and Housing Committees Can Have Their Own Rules Regarding Dogs

New York State doesn’t have any laws that regulate the number of dogs you’re allowed to have on a property. All restrictions on these sorts of things come from the municipalities (cities and towns) or the local landlords and housing committees.

Even if you live in a city that doesn’t regulate how many dogs you can have, you should always check with your landlord, housing committee, or HOA. Check with anyone who could set and enforce these types of rules on your household just in case.

Rules set by landlords or property owners on how many dogs are allowed on their property override any laws set by the county or city.

You Have to License Every One of Your Dogs

If you own a dog in New York State, you must register and get a license.

This license makes sure that the dog is vaccinated and in good health. When you’re taking your dog out in public, make sure it is wearing its license tag on its collar. The state requires all dogs to wear their tags and could receive a charge if you don’t comply.

For more information on licensing your dog in New York City, check out NYC’s website, or you can take a look at the actual legislation that requires this.

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