Texas has state-level pet laws and regulations set by local municipalities. One statewide law requires that dog owners not leave their pets restrained and unattended outside unless there’s adequate shelter, a shady area and potable water. The outside tether cannot be a chain, have weights attached to it and must be at least five times the length of the dog or 10 feet long.
Here is a sampling of local ordinances pertaining to pets in Texas.
Houston pet laws
All dogs and cats in Harris County that are age three months and older must be licensed and have a current rabies vaccination.
Dogs and cats must be kept under restraint while in public spaces.
san antonio pet laws
Your dog must be on a leash when you are walking it and you cannot take your dog onto the driveways and yards of property you do not own. You cannot allow your dog to defecate on private property not belonging to you and must remove feces immediately when it’s on the public right of way.
You cannot transport animals in a motor vehicle unless your pet is safely enclosed within the vehicle. If the pet is traveling in an open vehicle, such as a convertible or pickup truck, the animal could be in a container or cage or be confined by a rope or other device that’s cross-tied to prevent the pet from falling or jumping from the vehicle, or from strangling on a single leash.
You cannot leave your pet in a standing or parked vehicle if it endangers the pet’s health or safety.
San Antonio forbids pet owners from surgically altering an animal, such as ear cropping, tail docking and declawing, except when done by a licensed veterinarian.
You can have up to eight cats or five dogs, or a total of eight cats and dogs at your residence. If you want more cats and/or dogs, you will need to apply for an excess animal permit, which is valid for one year.
Dallas pet laws
The city of Dallas limits the number of dogs and/or cats to:
- Up to four total if you live in an apartment, duplex or townhouse
- Up to six total if you live in a single-family home on less than half an acre
- Up to eight total if you live in a single-family home on more than half an acre
These restrictions do not apply to puppies or kittens age six months and younger or feral cats registered in a feral cat colony.
All dogs and cats age four months and older must be registered annually. To register your pet, you will need to provide proof of current rabies vaccination.
You must confine your dog at all times, including in a fenced yard, enclosed pen or a hand-held leash. You can not tether your dog for more than three hours in a 24-hour period.
You can keep your dog outside if it’s kept in a 150 square foot area for each dog age six months or older. You must have a structure that is sturdy enough to prevent your dog from escaping but provide access to a doghouse, shelter or building that protects your dog from the elements.
austin pet laws
You must keep your dog under restraint, except in designated areas, such as an off-leash area (OLA). When your dog is in an OLA, it must be in your sight and under voice control at all times. You are required to dispose of pet waste left on public or private property.
Here are some more regulations for off-leash areas:
- Only spayed or neutered dogs are allowed into the OLA
- Dogs age four months and younger are not allowed into the OLA
- Children age six and younger are not allowed into the OLA
- Aggressive dogs are not allowed into the OLA
- Do not bring your dog’s favorite toys into the OLA to discourage problem behavior
If you are transporting your pet in an open vehicle (such as a convertible), they should be confined in a manner that prevents them from jumping from the vehicle or getting injured.
If you restrain your dog on your property, the tether must be attached to a properly fitting collar or harness. The tether can weigh no more than 1/18 of your dog’s body weight. You cannot wrap a tether directly around your dog’s neck. The restraint cannot be placed in a manner that could lead to your dog being entangled or not having access to shelter and water. You cannot leave your dog alone on a tether.