Sonoma County Rules & Regulations

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Important Sonoma County Rules & Regulations Pet Owners Need to Know



  • All dogs over the age of 4 months are required to have a license.
  • Licensing requires an up to date Rabies vaccine or a Certificate of Non-Vaccination from a veterinarian.
  • Licensing is four times as expensive for an un-neutered pet!
  • There is a $40 late penalty if you don’t get this done on time.
  • Seniors get a discount – so if you qualify, ask!
  • You can license your dog online, in person, or by mail.
  • All dogs in public are required to be on a leash of no more than six feet long.
  • All females in heat are required to be confined for the duration of their heat cycle. (That would be about 3 weeks from the start of the cycle – ie when the vulva starts swelling and/or bleeding begins. Be aware that some dogs have a very discreet or “silent” heat and may not bleed much at all so you need to be alert for any swelling of the vulva or increased interest from other dogs).
  • No dogs are allowed to enter or damage the private property of another without that property owner’s consent (this includes pooping on the neighbor’s lawn).
  • Any animal found on someone else’s property without that property owner’s consent may be impounded.
  • Any unneutered/un-spayed dog impounded twice in a 12 month period must be spayed /neutered within 7 days, and a certificate from the veterinarian verifying neutering will be required.
  • Only Service Dogs and Police Dogs are exempt from the restraint rules above. (Be prepared to show proof if you have one of these exemptions.)
  • These and other Sonoma County Animal Regulation Ordinances can be found at:



  • Cats may be licensed in Sonoma County but are not required to be licensed EXCEPT Rohnert Park.
  • Cats ARE required to be vaccinated against Rabies unless they have a medical exemption from a veterinarian.
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