Sunshine Pet Hospital

Five dogs at home

How Many Dogs Can You Have in Aurora, Illinois?

Aurora, Illinois, a vibrant city nestled in the heart of the Midwest, welcomes responsible dog ownership. Whether you’re a seasoned dog lover or considering welcoming a furry friend, understanding Aurora’s regulations regarding canine companions is crucial. This comprehensive guide delves into the legalities surrounding dog ownership in Aurora, offering valuable insights for current and prospective dog owners.


The Household Pet Limit

The cornerstone of Aurora’s animal control ordinance lies in the “household pet limit.” This regulation dictates the maximum number of pets permitted within a single household, including dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and other similar domestic animals. As of May 2024, Aurora enforces a limit of four domestic animals per residence. While this limit applies to all companion animals collectively, it’s crucial to understand how it specifically relates to dogs.

Before May 2022, Aurora’s ordinance imposed stricter limitations on dogs, restricting households to a maximum of three canine companions. However, a revision to the ordinance removed breed-specific restrictions and adjusted the overall pet limit to four domestic animals. This change eliminated the need for a separate dog limit, effectively creating a combined limit for all companion animals.

While the overall pet limit is four, an additional clause warrants consideration. The ordinance states that within the four-animal limit, no more than two animals can be of the same species. Therefore, while you can have four dogs in your home if you also have a cat or another type of permitted companion animal, the maximum number of dogs allowed would be two.


Exceptions and Considerations

There are a few exceptions to the household pet limit. Service dogs, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), are exempt from these regulations. This ensures that individuals with disabilities have unrestricted access to the companionship and assistance their service animals offer. Additionally, the ordinance allows for situations where a household may have more than four animals on the ordinance’s effective date (May 12, 2022). These households are considered “grandfathered in” and can keep their existing number of animals as long as they comply with other animal control regulations.


Responsible Dog Ownership

The focus of Aurora’s regulations extends beyond simply limiting the number of dogs per household. The city prioritizes responsible pet ownership and ensures the well-being of all animals. Here are some key aspects of responsible dog ownership in Aurora:



All dogs residing in Aurora, regardless of age, must be licensed with the city. Licenses can be obtained online or at the Aurora Animal Control facility. Licensing is crucial for animal identification and tracking, ensuring the city can reunite lost dogs with their owners.


Keeping your dog current on vaccinations protects your canine companion and the broader canine community. Vaccines for rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and bordetella are typically required.


Microchipping your dog provides a permanent form of identification that animal shelters and veterinary clinics can scan to reunite lost dogs with their owners.

Leash Laws

Leash laws play a vital role in ensuring the safety of both dogs and humans. All dogs in Aurora must be leashed on public property, with a leash no longer than six feet in length. Specific areas may have additional leash regulations, which require signage to be posted.

Waste Management

Responsible dog ownership includes promptly cleaning up after your dog’s waste. Aurora requires owners to carry disposable waste bags and dispose of waste properly in designated waste receptacles throughout the city.

Understanding and adhering to Aurora’s dog ownership regulations goes a long way in fostering a harmonious community for both humans and canines. By adhering to the household pet limit, licensing your dog, and ensuring it’s appropriately vaccinated, microchipped, and leashed, you contribute to a safe and enjoyable environment for all residents.


Beyond the Regulations

Aurora Animal Control

The Aurora Animal Control Department serves as a valuable resource for dog owners. Their website (city link to animal control) provides comprehensive information on licensing, vaccinations, leash laws, and other necessary regulations. Additionally, the department offers dog training workshops and educational resources to promote responsible pet ownership.

Local Veterinarians

Consulting a licensed veterinarian in Aurora, IL is crucial for ensuring your dog’s health and well-being. Veterinarians can guide on vaccinations, parasite control, nutrition, and general care practices. Many veterinary clinics also offer training programs and behavior consultations to help you cultivate a strong bond with your pet.


Exploring Breed Considerations

While breed-specific restrictions are no longer within Aurora city limits, responsible dog ownership involves making informed choices about the breed that best suits your lifestyle and living space. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a canine companion:

Activity Level

Do you have an active lifestyle that involves frequent walks, hikes, or jogs? Or do you prefer a more relaxed companion? Matching your activity level with the dog’s natural energy level ensures a happy and fulfilled canine. For example, high-energy breeds like Border Collies or Labrador Retrievers require ample opportunities to exercise. In contrast, calmer breeds like Bulldogs or Basset Hounds may be content with shorter walks and playtime.

Size Considerations

Aurora’s regulations don’t impose specific size limitations. However, it’s crucial to consider the size of your living space and your ability to provide your dog with adequate room to move around comfortably. Larger breeds like Great Danes or Saint Bernards may not be suitable for smaller apartments, while smaller breeds like Chihuahuas or Yorkshire Terriers can thrive in various living arrangements.


Different breeds possess distinct temperaments. Researching a breed’s typical behaviors and personality traits helps ensure a good match for your family. For instance, playful and energetic breeds like Golden Retrievers may be ideal for families with children. In contrast, independent and protective breeds like German Shepherds might be better suited for individuals or couples seeking a loyal companion.


The Joys of Dog Ownership

Aurora’s regulations establish a framework for responsible dog ownership. However, the true essence of canine companionship lies in the commitment to provide a loving and nurturing environment for your furry friend. Here are some additional practices that contribute to a fulfilling life for your dog:

Daily Exercise

Regular exercise keeps your dog physically fit and mentally stimulated. Tailor the exercise routine to your dog’s breed and age. Walks, playtime in the park, or structured training sessions are all vital components of canine health.

Mental Stimulation

Dogs crave mental stimulation just as much as physical activity. Interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and obedience training can challenge your dog’s intellect and prevent boredom.


Introduce your dog to other dogs and people from a young age. Socialization helps prevent anxiety and promotes positive interactions with the world around them.


Provide your dog with a healthy diet appropriate for age, breed, and activity level. Consult your veterinarian for personalized dietary recommendations.


Regular grooming maintains your dog’s coat and skin health, strengthens the bond between you, and can even be a calming experience for your furry friend.


Are you planning to adopt or buy a dog in Aurora, Illinois? Be sure to contact us at the Sunshine Pet Hospital for your new fur baby’s needs!