Moving to Arizona? Learn About Arizona Pet Laws

Arizona dog license lawsPet friendly Arizona has some of the strictest regulations in the country when it comes to pets. Dog owners moving to Tucson and other cities like Phoenix and Scottsdale should be aware of the area pet laws in order to avoid fines.

For people new in town, here is some information from the Pima County Animal Care Center website:

It is required that all dogs over 3 months of age be licensed. You will need proof of current rabies vaccination before licensing your dog.  

You need to provide:

  • A Vaccination certificate signed by a licensed Veterinarian containing the following
  • Vaccine manufacturers name
  • Type of vaccine used (MLV or Killed)
  • Serial or Lot Number
  • Date vaccination was given
  • Veterinarians name
  • How long the vaccine is valid


Here is a look at the dog license fees, which vary based on several factors. Low cost licenses may be available—download the application here

What is the thinking behind Arizona's dog license law? Here's what the Pima County Animal Center has to say:

  • Your dog is an important member of your family. No matter how safe you think your dog is, storms, fireworks or other disturbances may prompt your dog to dig, jump, or dart through a gate inadvertently left open. If your dog is lost, a license makes it far easier to reunite him with his family.
  • The fee you pay for your license helps us do our job, whether that’s providing shelter for abandoned animals, protecting neighborhoods from stray or aggressive dogs, providing low-cost vaccinations or teaching school children about responsible pet ownership. In fact, licensing fees make up 66 percent of our operating revenues.
  • It’s the law for any dog older than 3 months of age. And it doesn’t matter if your dog is a Chihuahua who spends most of his time indoors or a Bullmastiff who lives on a rural ranch. Late fees are nominal, but any person who knowingly fails to obtain a license for a dog may face a class 2 misdemeanor.
  • Call it Disney’s Lady and the Tramp factor, but licensing your dog shows others that you care about your pet and about doing your part for the community.
  • Because licensing requires a rabies vaccination, it helps ensure the community is protected from outbreaks.
  • It’s easy, convenient and just $17 a year for an altered dog. You can register online, in person, by mail or even through some of our participating vet clinics at the time of rabies vaccination. Discounts are available for qualifying seniors, disabled constituents, low-income residents and for service dogs.


Note: Dogs can now be licensed online as long as you have a current rabies vaccine and current license. 

Arizona also observes a leash law:

  • Your dog must be kept in an enclosed yard when on your property
  • Leaving a dog outside tied to a cable or rope is prohibited
  • Your dog cannot be off your property unless restrained by a leash


Check with your vet in Arizona for further explanation or help with all things dog related and enjoy your time here! 

Have questions about pet travel or the laws that will affect you in your new home? Contact us for a consultation. 


PetRelocation Team


Air Travel, Ask the Experts


Cats, Dogs


United States


Add a Comment

By Richard Black on December 4, 2018 at 12:20 am

Cats are dangerous and very harmful to wildlife plus they spread rabies fleas and much more. Don't they have a leash law and registration plus vacation laws too. I have wild rabbits that hang around but house cats kill all the babies in a nest and just leave them they aren't even doing it to eat just to kill. If dog owners have to watch thier pets don't house cat owners have the same responsible?

By Mandy on November 28, 2018 at 8:58 pm

I am considering moving to Pima county soon and was wondering where is the best place to get information on any breed bans, amount of dogs one can own, and any other helpful dog laws. I own 10 dogs and plan to be outside city limits but I’m having trouble finding information on any breed bans and other info

By Maegan at PetRelocation on December 3, 2018 at 9:22 am

Hi Mandy! You'll want to reach out to the Animal Care Center at 4000 N. Silverbell Rd. in Tucson, AZ for clarification on laws. Their phone number is (520) 724-5900. Hope this helps!

By Aaron on November 14, 2018 at 8:02 pm

What are the limitations on Rottweilers are they legal in Arizona? Where are they banned in Arizona?

By Maegan at PetRelocation on November 26, 2018 at 1:12 pm

Hi Aaron! You'll want to reach out to the Animal Care Center at 4000 N. Silverbell Rd. in Tucson, AZ for clarification on laws. Their phone number is (520) 724-5900. Hope this helps!

By Ian on May 28, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Is there a law against leaving your dog outside during the day? If they have shade and a bed? And of course plenty of water? Police came and told me I needed to reverse her times in and outside and that she wasn't to be outside during the day.

By Maegan at PetRelocation on May 29, 2018 at 11:08 am

Hi Ian! You'll want to reach out to the Animal Care Center at 4000 N. Silverbell Rd. in Tucson, AZ for clarification on laws. Their phone number is (520) 724-5900. Hope this helps!

By Tania Barnes on May 21, 2018 at 11:52 pm

I live in a community trailer park an there are a few dogs that dig out of there yard an kill an cat they can catch. Two of my neighbors cats were just killed,the owner of the dogs says oh well, sorry dogs kill cats. An refused to pay the vet bill or even gives ride to the vet. What can she do?

By Maegan at PetRelocation on May 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Hi Tania! We'd recommend calling Pima County Animal Center to see if the dog is licensed. Local vets are also a great resource for assistance. Hope this helps!

By JOANNE BRODSKY on May 1, 2018 at 11:07 pm

Can someone answer this question,we live on an easement for 2 years now IN a HOA here in Tucson,dog's on VERY long leashes and some on no leashes with owner dog craps on easement urinated on bushes what rights do i have,please get back to me thankyou,Sincerely,Joanne Brodsky

By Maegan at PetRelocation on May 2, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Hi Joanne! Our best suggestion would be to contact the Animal Care Center in Tucson for further clarification. Their phone number is (520) 724-5900. Hope this helps!

By Diana Gilsinger on January 10, 2018 at 4:50 pm

A neighbor told me recently that a dog must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet in Arizona. I always have my dog on a leash when out for a walk. Is it true that the leash can be no longer than 6 feet?

By Christina at PetRelocation on January 12, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Hi Diana,

Thanks for your question! I recommend contacting your local or state government to confirm whether or not they have a 6-foot leash law. They will have the most current and accurate information on this topic!

By Jennifer on October 18, 2017 at 8:27 pm

I have a 5 month old cocker spaniel and a one year old yorkie amd i take them out to walk sometimes on a patch of grass in my neighborhood and once my dog (who was on a leash) ran after amd was barking at another dog on a leash controlled by the owner. The owners husband came and said "get a habdle on your dog" and yelled at the top of his lungs to my dog "shut up!!!" Its so normal for dogs to bark at other dogs and hes only a small yorkie. Plus he was on a leash completely controled by me. What are my rights just in case he tries that again? I'm bot in the wrong am I ?

By on October 19, 2017 at 10:06 am

Hi Jennifer, thanks for reaching out.

We are sorry to hear about your experience! Based on what you've said it seems you're well within your rights and aren't violating any laws, so our advice is to do your best to steer clear of this particular dog owner and keep being a good dog owner. You can also contact your local authorities to double check anything (just in case he tries to confront you and your dog again).

Hope that helps, good luck with everything!

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