Craziest Pet Laws Around the World
Pets are kept in almost every country on the planet. The culture and practices of pet ownership, however, vary from place to place. What's totally normal in one country or state is outlawed in others. In some cases, just walking a dog is illegal.
To make sure your dog doesn't get you locked up on vacation, check out the following bizarre pet laws.
No Naming Animals You're Planning to Eat
Where this law is enforced: Australia
Australia, this is so thoughtful. Imagine you're a cow named Bessie and you've been happily frolicking through grassy pastures until your owner calls you over. "Bessieeee! Here Bessie!"
You run over for dinner, only the only thing being served tonight is you. The last expression on your face would be one of udder betrayal.
Maybe that's what Australians legislators were thinking of when they outlawed naming animals you plan to eat. What would they think of our favorite pet chicken? We're not eating her, but her name is Soup. Hopefully, Australians still appreciate dark humor.
Only One Dog Per Household, and It Has to Be Tiny
Where this law is enforced: China
In Beijing, each household can only have one dog, and it can be a maximum of 14 inches tall. Basically, anything bigger than a toy poodle is off-limits. You may be able to bring a larger dog if you already own them when you move to the city, but the one pet per person rule is strictly enforced.
Cats Can't Be Publicly Displayed After 8 P.M.
Where this law is enforced: Japan
Don't worry, Oreo. You won't be arrested for enjoying the city lights from the windowsill. The public display of cats after 8pm is banned in Japan, but when they say "public," they mean in pet shops or in animal attractions. The law originated from the proliferation of cat cafes that opened in the 2010s.
Out of concern for the animals' welfare, the law limited animals from being displayed after 8 p.m. to give them a break from visitors. An animal rights panel more recently allowed cats to stay out until 10 p.m. to see how nightlife impacted their behavior. Since the nocturnal critters seemed to be undisturbed, the law is likely to ease up in the future.
Men May Not Walk Dogs
Where this law is enforced: Saudi Arabia
Technically, walking your dog at all in Saudi Arabia is banned. Dogs are viewed as unclean by the religious police there, and the country still has very rigid gender roles. While women's rights are improving, the country still tries to keep the genders separate. That was largely the motivation behind the ban on dog walking.
Why, you ask? Because dogs are babe magnets, and people were concerned that men would use cute dogs to attract unsuspecting girls. Who's going to tell them that we'd rather have the cute dog than the man trying to flirt next to it?
Pigs May Not Be Named Napoleon
Where this law is enforced: France
If you take your pet pig to Paris, don't name it Napoleon. It's not an official law, but after George Orwell named a pig Napoleon in Animal Farm, the French version changed the animal's name to Caesar.
That sparked the myth that naming pigs after the former French emperor was unconstitutional. It's not, of course, but it's still frowned upon. Better go with Babe or Wilbur instead.
Doggy Daycares Must Have Sunny Windows
Where this law is enforced: Sweden
In Sweden, dogs attending canine day care centers get the royal treatment. We don't like to be cooped up all day, and we can only imagine dogs like it even less. To help support the mental health of the canines in care, dog day cares must have sunny windows for the dogs to look out of.
The only thing we can think of that would be better would be a free range doggy care center with an expansive yard to play in.
Pets Are Required to Have Company, and Owning One Requires a Series of Tests
Where this law is enforced: Switzerland
The Swiss take pet care very seriously, and we can get behind their methods. Dogs are social creatures, so they're required to be given a companion so they don't get lonely while their owners are at work.
Before you can own a pet at all, however, you have to pass both verbal and written tests to make sure you're of sound mind and have a solid understanding of proper pet care. In theory, the practice reduces the risk of animal abuse.
Don't Allow Your Pet to Fraternize With Royal Pets
Where this law is enforced: The United Kingdom
If you live in London and your dog is on the frisky side, give the Queen's corgis a wide berth. It is against the law to let your pet, ahem, associate with pets from the royal house. In other words, your lowly pug is not posh enough to sire royal puppies. Insulting, but fair.
It's also illegal for taxis in London to drive rabid dogs. We just want to know what happened to inspire a regulation like that in the first place.
Dog Education is Illegal
Where this law is enforced: Connecticut
In the city of Hartford, Connecticut, it’s illegal to educate dogs. This old law is terribly outdated, but its origins are hilarious. The law came from the 1800s, when people became concerned that dogs would become too bright and might overthrow humanity.
We've met some Australian shepherds that probably have a higher IQ than some of our family members, but until they grow opposable thumbs, we should be safe.
No Barking After Six P.M.
Where this law is enforced: Arkansas
Dogs in Little Rock, Arkansas are banned from barking after 6 p.m., and owners can be fined if they break the rule. Good luck with that.
No Selling Your Pet's Extra Fur
Where this law is enforced: Delaware
No matter how fluffy your dog or cat is, selling their fur in Delaware is a serious offense. It counts as a class B misdemeanor if you knowingly sell any fur products of a domestic dog or cat.
The reason for this odd law is that the people selling dog and cat fur often were trading other dog and cat by-products as well. In other words, skin. That's clearly inhumane, but we don't see what the big deal is about putting a Samoyed's endless loose fur to good use. Those grooming bills don't pay themselves.
No Making Silly Faces at Dogs
Where this law is enforced: Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, don't look at a dog the wrong way, or you might get fined. Fines apply even if you pull a face at your own dog. Dogs are also forbidden from gathering privately in groups of three or more without a permit from the mayor.
What do they think is going to happen, exactly? A neighborhood dog rager? Come to think of it, that sounds like a great time. Let's plan one, just not in Oklahoma.
Cats Must Stay Away From Cemetaries
Where this law is enforced: Norfolk, Virginia
Cats are not allowed in public cemeteries in Norfolk. What's unclear is how that law is enforced. It's like the legislators who came up with it had never met a cat.
Try telling a cat to stay off the counter and let us know how it goes. Now, tell it to stay out of a cemetery filled with row upon row of big, warm, sunny rocks. Good luck.
Dogs May Not Molest Passersby
Where this law is enforced: Kentucky
If you live in Kentucky and have a dog that likes to assert their dominance on anything and everything, proceed with caution. If your dog "molests" a pedestrian or passing vehicles, you may be subject to fines.
How many times did someone get their leg humped by a chihuahua at the bus stop to inspire them to pass an entire law against it? We need to know.