How Many Dogs or Cats Can You Own in Illinois

While Illinois has no statewide law that dictates the number of dogs or cats a resident can own, individual municipalities and counties do have their own set of rules. City residents are generally allowed to own two to four dogs or cats per household. These restrictions are in place in urban areas to control nuisances in smaller and closer spaces.

However, before adding another furry friend to your household, I suggest you check with your local animal ordinances to find out about pet ownership laws in your area. Your municipality or county may allow the ownership of multiple pets if your property meets the requirements. With that in mind, let's look at pet ownership restrictions in some Illinois counties.

3 dogs

Cook County, IL

How many dogs or cats are allowed per household in Cook County, Illinois? The answer to this question is it depends on where in Cook County you reside. In the Town of Cicero, for example, the number of pets allowed per household is three. Two dogs and four cats are allowed per single-family residence in the Village of Skokie. You can have up to four dogs and/or cats if you live in an unincorporated area of Cook County. If you reside in the City of Chicago, you may own as many dogs and cats as you can care for.

Moreover, it is worth mentioning that Chicago is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the United States. The Chi-Town even has two beaches that allow off-leash dogs: Belmont Harbor Beach and Montrose Beach.

DuPage County, IL

Many cities in DuPage County allow up to four dogs or cats per residence. If you reside in Lisle, for instance, you may have up to 4 dogs or cats, or any combination thereof in your house. Glen Ellyn residents are not allowed to own more than three cats or dogs, or a combination thereof. If you live in the City of West Chicago, you may own four household pets. In DuPage County, it is required by law that all dogs and cats be vaccinated for rabies and buy a rabies registration tag.

Lake County, IL

Lake County law permits its residents to have four dogs and four cats in their houses. However, some Lake County cities may have more stringent limits. In Lake County, all pet owners must have their pets confined on their property. When off their owner's property, all dogs and cats must be controlled by a leash. You must provide your pet with shelter, food and water whenever it is outside. No pet owner should live their female dog or cat in heat unattended.

Madison County, IL

The number of dogs or cats a resident is allowed to have in Madison County depends on the property’s zoning district and lot size. Four domestic pets are allowed per residence in some areas while three in some.

Type and number of animals own can own in Madison County, IL

Restricted or Banned Dog Breeds in Illinois

While there is no statewide BSL that restricts or bans specific breeds in Illinois, individual counties are given the authority to implement BSL for their residents. 

German shepherds, Rottweilers, and Pit bulls are the most commonly restricted or banned breeds by cities in the state of Illinois. In Barry, Pit bulls are banned. Pit Bulls are deemed dangerous in North Chicago and Prospect Heights. For more info, check the BSL Census. In addition, Wolf hybrids are illegal to keep as pets in Illinois.

Leash Laws in Illinois

In Illinois, dog laws vary from city to city. Generally, all pet owners must not allow their dogs or cats to run at large in any Illinois city. In many Illinois cities, a dog or cat is deemed to be running at large when it is not held securely on a 15 feet long leash. This law is meant to protect Illinoisans and their properties from dogs at large. Failure to comply with this law can result in both owners and their dogs being penalized. All dog owners in Illinois can be held liable for damages or injuries caused by their canine companions.

Pet Friendly Cities in Illinois

These top twenty cities are considered the most pet-friendly in Illinois: Aurora, Bloomington, Carbondale, Champaign, Chicago, Downers Grove, Effingham, Evanston, Galena, Geneva, Glenview, Joliet, Moline, Naperville, Palatine, Peoria, Rockford, Saint Charles, Springfield, and Urbana. A few factors that make a city pet-friendly include pet walkability, restrictions, pet stores and veterinarians, pet-friendly restaurants, and pet-friendly trails and parks.


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