Pet & Animal Laws in Colorado

Your pet is part of your family, but some state governments don’t quite see it that way. Each state creates their own regulations for what pets can be brought, which animals can be transported out and where they can live. If you’re a pet owner that’s moving to Denver or anywhere else in Colorado there are a few rules you need to know first.


The official definition of a domestic animal in Colorado is any “animals which through long association with humans have been bred to a degree which has resulted in genetic changes affecting the color, temperament and conformation, or other attributes of the species to an extent that makes them unique and distinguishable from wild individuals of their species.”

In Colorado there’s a wide range of domestic animals. Currently there are 33 animals that are considered domestic. You can find the entire list in section 1103(A) of the Code of Colorado Regulations.


Domestic animals fall into the unregulated category of the Code of Colorado Regulations. That means you don’t need any special licensing from the state to import or possess these animals. However, some cities do require licensing for cats and dogs older than six months.

Spaying and Neutering

Some cities in Colorado now require that dogs and cats be spayed or neutered.


Rabies vaccination of dogs and cats over the age of six months is required by most Colorado cities. Pets will either need to be vaccinated by a licensed Colorado veterinarian or you’ll have to produce proof that your cat or dog is already current on their rabies shots.

Limitations on the Number of Domestic Animals

Each city will specify how many domestic animals are allowed per household. This is usually dictated by the city zoning code.

Prohibited Domestic Animals

Some cities have set their own list of prohibited domestic animals that go beyond the state regulations. For example, the city of Denver prohibits pit bull breeds. Be sure to check with your city’s animal control department to see if there are any additional requirements and restrictions.


Chapter 11 of the Colorado Code Regulations outlines the rules and requirements for exotic animals, including wildlife. In general, possession and importation of wildlife native to Colorado is prohibited. Ownership and importation of exotic (non-native) animals is also prohibited in some cases and restricted in others.

Other rules include:

  • An individual can have up to six allowable native reptile and amphibians.
  • People who are properly licensed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Division of Wildlife may possess eagles, hawks and falcons for falconry purposes.
  • Common snapping turtles are acceptable.
  • You’ll need a Commercial Wildlife Park License to possess any native wildlife or exotic animals that are not on the unregulated wildlife list.
  • Animals on the unregulated wildlife list in section 1103(B) don’t require any special licensing.

For more information on wildlife restrictions read through the following Wildlife Commission regulations and Colorado statutes: C.R.S. 33-1-106, 33-6-109, 33-6-113, 33-6-114, 18-9-202.


Livestock Entry Permits

Most animals that fall into the livestock category will need an entry permit. To get a permit you’ll need the assistance of a veterinarian. Your vet can use the Online Permitting System (OPS) or they can be obtained through the Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office.

Colorado Approved Tagging Sites

Fortunately, our moving bovines didn’t have to go through an identification process when we moved into Colorado. But if you’re herding livestock into one of the Colorado approved tagging sites you can avoid some of the regulations. Once livestock are moved into an approved tagging site they’ll be officially identified so they can become Colorado residents.

A Few Helpful Resources

If you need more information or an answer to a specific question about livestock one of the resources below should be able to help.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Information Hotline: (202) 720-2791

Colorado Department of Agriculture Animal Health Division

305 Interlocken Pkwy

Broomfield, CO 80021





For more information on the most recent animal requirements, restrictions and regulation read through Chapter 11 of the Code of Colorado Regulations. You can also call the crew at Square Cow Movers for information on transporting pets. Give us a call today or use the online form to get an instant moving quote!

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