Americans love pets. 70% of households in the US have pets of various kinds, ranging from common ones such as dogs and cats to more exotic options such as anteaters and tarantula spiders. While the love of pets seems to be general, there are also rules guiding pet ownership. So, how many animals can you have in your home in the US?
There are no general rules on how many animals you can have in your home. But counties and cities may impose a limit on households. Beyond that, factors that could determine the number include the size of the property, zoning code, neighborhood or landlord rules, and ability to care for the animals.
However, such limits usually apply to cities as rural areas rarely have limits. Some areas also require you to get a permit to keep more animals than the limit. Here, we discuss how many animals you can have in your home in the US.
Limits on Number of Animals in a Household
There are no federal rules on the maximum number of animals you should have in your house in the US. But that doesn’t mean you can have as much as you want. What exists are individual rules on pet ownership in each county or local municipal. Thus, a city can have rules about how many animals you can have but not necessary for all cities. These rules usually exist as part of an effort to control the pet problems in an area and prevent them from being nuisances.
Just as there could be limits on the number of animals you can keep, there could also be limits on the type of animals. For example, animals such as horses, sheep, cows, pigs, etc., are domestic animals. But most areas won’t allow you to keep them in the house as pets for obvious reasons. Thus, they’re kept in barns and pens. You’re unlikely to find these structures in the central areas of any city. The legal limit on the number of animals you can own also varies based on the type of animals. For example, the limit of cats you can own is higher than that of a dog.
What Determines the Number of Animals You can Have in Your Home
If you’re thinking of keeping animals as pets, there are several factors you need to consider when determining how many is appropriate. These include:
1. Size Of Your Property
Your property size will influence how many pets you can have and what kind of pet you can own. For example, it’s unadvisable to own outdoor pets such as birds in a condo where you have no backyard space. Even if no local ordinances are limiting your ownership, you can determine when you have enough pets based on the square footage of your property. In most households in the US, the common thing is to own two or three common domestic pets. This ensures that everyone has sufficient space to move around without obstructing the movement of the humans in the house or causing a nuisance to the neighbors.
2. Ability to Take Care of the Animals
Your ability to care for the pets matters a lot. It’s not enough to be passionate about pets or find them cute. Pets aren’t trophies that you can place somewhere and be sure to meet there. They’re living things with needs and emotions. So, you should be ready to meet those needs. Having one pet comes with obligations that can redefine your whole schedule. The more pets you have, the more obligations you take on yourself. Such obligations include cleaning, feeding, walking the pet in some cases, spending time with the pet, and more.
When you consider all these obligations, you realize that it’s no child’s play to own a pet. The number of pets you have might also affect your ability to travel without the pet. For example, while it might be fun to go on a family vacation with one or two dogs, it’s much more difficult when you have ten dogs. Also, you’re likely to find a friend who’ll be willing to look after one cat for you than if you have to like a dozen or more cats. By looking at the responsibility of pet ownership and how it increases exponentially based on how pets you own, you can determine how many pets you can responsibly own.
3. Zoning Codes
Zoning codes usually serve as the fundamental guideline on pet limits. While it can be lovely to have as many animals as you want, the zoning boards also have obligations on keeping the density of humans and animals in an area at even levels. Thus, most high-density areas usually have such limits. This is because everyone in those areas usually has to share a living space and the zoning board usually focuses on keeping nuisance at a minimum. Of course, some of these codes are misinformed as they’re based on the misconception that more pets mean more trouble. In reality, it’s about properly caring for these pets. Thus, some pro-pet organizations have been able to win cases quashing rules on the limit of pets. Most areas that have limits on pet ownership base it on the zoning. In this case, those living in the areas considered to be residential zones can’t have more than a certain number of animals as pets, and exceeding that is only possible when living in an agricultural zone.
4. Neighborhood or Landlord Rules
Another factor that could determine the number of pets you can keep or even whether you can keep a pet is the rules of the building or area you’re living in. If you’re living in a rented apartment, the landlord might have a rule against pets or restrict the number of pets that a person can have. In that case, you could lose your lease for flouting such a rule. For those living in Condo, the homeowner association could have rules on pet ownership for you to comply with
The number of animals you can own will depend on lots of factors. But the limitations on the number of pets you can have is usually applicable only within a small geographical area such as a town, neighborhood, or even a building. So, you can always change your location if you’re interested in having more pets.