What Are the Leash Laws in Missoula, Montana?

leashes on a fence - Missoula leash laws

What Are the Leash Laws in Missoula, Montana?

Across Montana, many communities have leash laws for pets, and Missoula is no exception. While the laws vary between cities and counties, it is important to know what your neighborhood’s leash laws are. Ignoring these local ordinances could land you with some rather annoyed neighbors, as well as fines. 


Missoula Leash Laws 

Both the city and county of Missoula have specific regulations about leashing your dog. These laws are in place to help protect the community. They outline when your dog needs a leash, and when they are allowed to be off-leash. 

Here’s a brief summary of Missoula’s regulations:

  1. Dogs must be leashed at all times within the city limits (not including off-leash dog parks).
  2. Leashes must be no more than 6 feet long. However, when training you are allowed to use a 15-foot leash.
  3. Dogs at trailheads outside of city limits must be leashed except in designated off-leash, voice-controlled areas.
  4. Dogs under voice control who do not respond on the first call and are more than 75 feet from their humans or closer than 5 feet to other dogs or other people are subject to off-leash violations.  


Penalties for Leash Law Violations

When you disregard the leash laws, you are subject to a fine. Law enforcement, animal control, and park rangers are all able to issue citations. And if you contest the citation and lose, you will have to pay the fine amount and also the court costs. 

Fines for leash violations in Missoula:

  • $50 for a first offense
  • $75 for a second offense
  • $225 for a third offense
  • $300 for the fourth and all further violations


Why Leashing Your Dog Is Important 

“Don’t worry—they’re friendly!” 

You’ve probably heard someone shout this phrase when their off-leash dog runs up to you. But friendly or not, having your dog off-leash can be dangerous. 

Even if your dog might be friendly, well-groomed and adorable, the other people or dogs they are approaching might not be. Not all people like dogs, and some might be frightened or threatened. And some dogs can be aggressive or defensive around other dogs. Keeping your dog leashed ensures their safety and the safety of others.

Montana is beautiful, and hikes are a great way to enjoy our scenic state. However, along with nature comes wildlife. Bears and other wild animals will protect themselves and their young from curious dogs, and an encounter like that could be deadly for your pet or even for you. Always keep your dog leashed on trails, so they don’t disturb any dangerous animals.


Dental Care Keeps Your Dog Healthy Longer

Leashes are not the only way to protect your pet. Proper dental care can help elongate your pet’s life and keep them healthy and happy enough to enjoy leashed walks as well as yummy treats. Veterinary dental care can reduce the risk of gum disease, tooth loss, and oral infections.

Missoula Vetrinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery is the best veterinary dentist in the state. Our staff and facility are equipped to deal with any dental problem big or small. Contact us today to schedule a dental exam and cleaning for your dog.



Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/12/23). Photo by Bella Pisani on Unsplash.