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 Tau tuvale on June 9, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Doing some research for a paper i'm writing, and looking for a rough estimate of how many households have pets in the state of Az and/or the greater Phx area! Any info would be helpful.

By on June 9, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Sorry Tau, we arrange international/domestic travel for pets so this isn't really our area of expertise. Maybe try the Arizona Department of Health or an entity like your local Humane Society or veterinary association? Good luck with your paper!

By Antonieta on July 8, 2017 at 12:05 am

I live in Arizona, and I have a cocker spaniel my neighbor gets angry because our dog poops inside my property and it does not affect her because we clean plus we have a high fence that divide us. Also because it barks a lot when cats pass, that is normal in dogs. She threatens us with call animal control .. but dolly its not aggresive at all. We leave her because we need to work that is from 9 am to 4 pm, we leave her inside the house with a / c conditiong because its hot, plenty of food and lots water. Obviously after work she is outside with us always supervising our baby. Is there any law that protects me since it is not bad? what I do? Or just let the neighbor?

By on July 10, 2017 at 8:52 am

Hi Antonieta, thanks for reaching out.

It sounds like you have quite the fussy neighbor -- sorry to hear it! 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 your neighbor and keep being a good dog owner. You can also contact your local authorities to double check anything (just in case your neighbor tries to confront you).

Hope that helps, good luck with everything!


By Unknown on August 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm

Hi, my friend just moved Into a house in an already establish neighborhood. Her house is the very few houses with grass. Her neighbor has a large dog and he pees in the yard almost everyday. She had mentioned it to the Neighbor hey said they would monitor the dog and they have not. They just call the dog names a couple of times and walks away still letting the dog pee and roam in the yard. My grass is turning yellow I. Some patches. The own said the dog has peed In my yard for 2 years now and he won't tell his dog no bc it is just a dog. Is there a law about this ? Talking to the neighbor did t help .

By on August 14, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Hi there, thanks for reaching out and sorry to hear about your trouble! Unfortunately this isn't our area of expertise, so we would recommend researching local laws via government websites and continuing to talk to the neighbor. Maybe your friend could also put up a fence of some kind? Either way we wish you luck!

By clare mackey on August 18, 2017 at 1:45 pm

do all these vaccinations and licensing rules for dogs apply to unincorporated pima county?

By on August 18, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Hello Clare,

Thank you for reaching out! Unfortunately, this isn't our area of expertise. I would recommend contacting your local government to determine if the licensing applies to dogs outside of the Pima county area.

However, most counties do have laws that at least require a valid rabies vaccination so it's certainly best to plan on getting this vaccination for your dog.

Best of luck to you!

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