Fort Worth has specific laws on the restraint and keeping of dogs within city limits. The purpose of these rules is to keep others safe and, in the event of a dog attack, to make victim’s rights clear.

Rules of Dog Restraint in Fort Worth Homes

  • Dogs kept in backyards must be secured behind a physical fence at least 48 inches high.
  • Dogs designated as dangerous by the city must be kept behind a fence at least 60 inches high.
  • If a dog can jump the fence, the owner must install a larger fence.
  • It’s an owner’s responsibility to prevent dogs from digging under their fence.
  • Dog owners must keep fences in good working condition to ensure their dog stays contained.

Tethering a dog (meaning to tie it up using chains, ropes, etc.) is BANNED in Fort Worth. This law is relatively new.

Leash Laws in Fort Worth

  • When a dog is being walked off its property, it must be on a leash.
  • Dog owners must be with their leashed dog at all times.

Spay and Neutering Laws

  • Female dogs over the age of 6 months must be spayed.
  • Male dogs over the age of 8 months must be neutered.
  • If the owner chooses not to have their dog spayed or neutered, they must get an intact pet permit through the city.

You Must Vaccinate Your Dog

  • Dogs must receive a rabies vaccine by the time they’re 4 months old.
  • They should have a booster shot at 16 months of age.
  • Dogs must be vaccinated every three years after that.

You Own a Dog In Fort Worth If…

If you keep, shelter, feed or harbor a dog for more than three consecutive days in Fort Worth, it’s yours. As a dog owner, you’re required to:

  • Provide sufficient food and water served in clean containers
  • Provide adequate shelter that protects your dog from the elements, including the heat and cold
  • Provide veterinary care as needed

Dangerous Dog Designation

A dog is considered “dangerous” in Fort Worth if it attacked someone (or another dog) unprovoked, unless the attack was on its own property.