How Many Dogs Can You Own In The UK?

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Author: Jeanette Hampton

How many dogs can you own in the UK? Dog lovers in the UK who are planning to pet a dog or are thinking to buy another one have this question in their mind. While this gesture of owning multiple dogs may seem nice, considering they are rescuing a dog, one has to consider the legal aspects.

This article will help you get useful details pertaining to different legal aspects and answers to – how many dogs can you own in the UK.

How Many Dogs Can You Own In The UK?

In general, there is no specific rule or legal limit on how many dogs you can own in the UK. However, there are some legal acts which contain important rules that one has to consider while owning dogs in the UK. For instance, the Animal Welfare Act of 2006. This act was enforced by the authorities in the year 2007.

The aim of this act was to prevent animal cruelty. The act provides specific guidelines on how to sell, transport, and manage animals around the country. In addition, the act also covers different guidelines for caring for the dog. So, what are the aspects that you need to consider?

Here are the key points from the act that owners have to follow:

  • Owners and keepers of dogs have a responsibility to care for and to ensure that dogs’ needs are met. They must also provide appropriate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care to keep their dogs healthy. 
  • A suitable clean environment, that provides adequate space, lighting, ventilation, and bedding is mandatory for nurturing the dogs.
  • It is illegal to dock the tail or ears of a dog except for some medical reasons or for specific breeds that are exempt.
  • The act also prohibits certain activities that are dangerous or abusive to dogs. These activities include causing unnecessary suffering, neglecting or failing to provide basic needs, and engaging in dog fighting or other malicious practices.
  • Owners must also make sure that their dogs are well-trained and socialized. They have to provide adequate exercise and mental stimulation to contain boredom and promote good behaviour.
  • Dogs must not pose danger to others. It’s the owners’ responsibility to control their excessive barking, aggressive behaviour, or roaming.
  • The Animal Welfare Act 2006 is enforced by the police and animal welfare organizations. The owners who fail to comply with this duty of care, face prosecution. In fact, they may face fines, imprisonment, or probably get a ban on owning animals (in this case dogs).

Limit of owning dogs in households

While there are no specific limits or a number set for owning dogs in the household, the local authorities in different areas have the authority to set one. In fact, breeders or owners who breed, or sell 3 or more puppies, need a license from local authorities to do so.

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So, this does beg a question – how many dogs you can own in the council or privately rented house?

How many dogs you can own in the Council House UK?

When it comes to buying dogs in a council house, the rules depend on the council in question. Legally, there is no limit to the number of dogs you can own in the UK. But local councils can have their own guidelines for pets in council flats and houses.

Fortunately, the majority of the councils are open to tenants keeping pets in their council homes with some conditions. These conditions are –

  • Proper care of dogs 
  • Disposing of dog waste properly 
  • Ensuring that the dogs don’t cause a disturbance to your neighbours and so on. 

So, as long as the tenants meet such conditions, they can have multiple dogs.

How many dogs you can own in a privately rented house?

Similar to local council authorities, Private landlords, have their own policies regarding pet ownership in their properties. These policies are mostly similar to those of UK councils. 

The key points in these policies –

  • Landlord sees that dog is taken care of
  • The dog is not causing damage to the property
  • Not disturbing neighbours 

If tenants follow these simple rules, landlords have no issues. However, one issue that landlords consider while prohibiting tenants from keeping dogs in their homes is continuous barking.

In simple words, if your dog barks loudly or excessively, especially at midnight, it can become a problem for the surrounding neighbours. Any complaint from them could force the landlord to evict you.

Hence, it’s important for pet owners to be aware of these guidelines and to ensure that they are properly caring for their pets to avoid any issues with landlords or councils. Proper training and socialization can also help reduce the likelihood of nuisance barking and other behavioural issues that could lead to problems.

Responsible Pet Ownership

Responsible pet ownership is important in the UK to ensure the safety and well-being of pets, their owners, and the community itself. Here are some key aspects you need to consider for being responsible pet ownership in the UK:

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#1 Microchipping 

If you get a dog in the UK, it is a legal requirement to have dogs microchipped and registered to a government-approved database. This helps in identifying lost dogs with their owners and stopping theft.

#2 Vaccinations

You’ll have to provide regular vaccinations to protect your dog against common diseases, as some of these tend to get fatal. It is important to keep in touch with your Vet and get vaccine shots on time. 

#3 Training and Exercise

Providing proper training and exercise is crucial for your pet dog. This ensures they behave properly, are obedient and do not become a nuisance to others. In fact, dogs need constant training and providing them with engaging exercises, eventually helps in controlling their aggression and other behavioural issues. In fact, dogs prone to obesity benefit the most. 

#4 Diet

A balanced diet is a must to keep the dog healthy. The amount of food your dog needs will depend on factors such as age, weight, and energy levels.

#5 Grooming

Regular grooming is also necessary, especially for the dogs shedding excessive fur. To maintain good hygiene and prevent the build-up of fleas, ticks, and different parasites.

#6 Responsible breeding

If you wish to breed your pet dog you need to maintain the health and welfare of both the parent and offspring and avoid inbreeding.

#7 Socialisation

Regardless of their character, every dog ​​needs socialisation. Socialising helps them learn to relate and connect with people and other pets. 

Generally, it’s best to start the process of socialisation during a dog’s puppy stage. But, you have to make sure they are properly vaccinated. In addition, you can also socialise an adult dog with patience and positive support.

Following these guidelines, you are making sure of the safety and well-being of your pet dog. So, responsible pet ownership in the UK not only helps pet dogs but also their owners. 

Owning Multiple Dogs in the UK: Challenges & Benefits

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Owning multiple dogs in a house in the UK is challenging for several reasons:

  1. Space: Dogs need enough room to move, play, and rest. Keeping multiple dogs in a small space can cause stress and territorial conflicts.
  2. Cost: Owning multiple dogs can be expensive due to the cost of food, veterinary care, and other supplies.
  3. Time and Attention: Each dog needs individual attention and training. It can be difficult to provide enough time and attention to multiple dogs.
  4. Behavioural Issues: Keeping multiple dogs can lead to dominance struggles and aggression between the dogs. This can be challenging to manage and may require professional intervention.
  5. Legal Restrictions: In some areas, there may be legal restrictions on the number of dogs that can be kept in a household. For instance, some UK councils require a license to keep more than two dogs on your property. In fact, as per the council housing information of Leeds, they don’t allow tenants to have more than two dogs or cats.

While there are many challenges to owning multiple dogs in the UK, there are some benefits too. Here are some of the benefits for both the dogs and their owners:

  1. Companionship: Dogs are social animals and enjoy the company of other dogs. Owning multiple dogs can help them with the opportunity to interact and socialise with other dogs. This will help in reducing their boredom and loneliness.
  2. Exercise: Dogs need regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. Owning multiple dogs can provide ample exercise and also make them more enjoyable and efficient. They can play and run together, providing each other with enough exercise.
  3. Training: Dogs tend to mimic each other’s activity and behaviour. They learn from each, and owning multiple dogs can make training easier and more engaging. As they can observe and mimic each other’s behaviour they also get mental stimulation. In fact, this can help improve their social skills and obedience training.
  4. Security: Multiple dogs can offer nice security for your home. As they can act as a guard for the owners and protect the house from potential intruders. They are active and immediately alert you if there is any suspicious activity near the house. This is probably one of the main reasons why people prefer having multiple dogs in their houses.
  5. Fun: Dogs are fun, they bring joy and happiness to our lives, and owning multiple dogs can improve the household environment. Just watching them play, snuggle, and interact with each other can provide you with a sense of warmth and satisfaction.

It is essential to consider all of these factors before deciding to own multiple dogs in a house and ensure that you have the necessary resources and time to provide each dog with proper care and attention.


How many dogs can you have in a council house UK?

In general, you can keep one dog without permission, but, you’ll require a dog license if you plan on keeping more dogs in the house. Also, at times, you will need permission from the landlord. The number of dogs you can have in a council house will depend on the rules and regulations of the local council. Connect and check with your local council or housing association.

Is there a limit on how many pets you can have in the UK?

No, there isn’t. However, as per the government’s guidelines, one cannot bring more than 5 pets to Great Britain. You can only bring them if you are attending a competition or training for a show or any other sporting event.

How many dogs in one household are considered safe?

There is no exact figure as to what number is safe. But, vets and other experts do suggest that having 3-4 dogs in a household is not a crowd and if you can manage their needs and follow the guidelines it’s fine.

Is owning 6 dogs too many in the UK?

Well, owning 6 dogs is not an issue. You can have 8 dogs in your house or even 10. The question is how will you handle their needs, and costs, and most importantly, control their behaviour. Too many dogs can unsettle your lifestyle. It will take a special person or a trainer to handle more than 6 dogs in a household.

What is the cost of owning multiple dogs in the UK?

The approximate range of owning multiple dogs in the UK costs between £2000 to £6000 per year. This range depends on the number of dogs you own and their specific needs i.e. food, training, vaccination and so on. However, these are just rough estimates and the genuine cost could get much higher. Having a pre-planned budget will help a lot.

Final Answer On How Many Dogs You Can Own In The UK?

The number of dogs that you can own in the UK will rely on several factors. These factors include the area, the rules and regulations of your local council or housing association, the size of your house, and the breed of the dog.

Normally, councils allow one dog, but some only permit dogs under specific conditions. Hence, it’s crucial to coordinate with your local council or housing association and get to know the guidelines before getting a dog.

Once you get an idea regarding different policies and guidelines, you can own multiple dogs in your household. Yes, you may have to double your efforts while nurturing each dog, but the experience will be worth it.

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Jeanette Hampton
Jeanette Hampton is a content writer at WWD and an expert on all things pets. She’s been writing pet blogs for over 5 years and knows everything there is to know about dogs. Jeanette enjoys writing about pet-related topics because she enjoys helping people learn more about their furry friends.

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