Animal Services

Dog Bites: What should you do?

Dog bites should be reported to Toronto Public Health (416-338-7600) and Toronto Animal Services (311) as soon as possible. In the even that the bite victim is transported to the hospital, a bite complaint should be made as soon as possible after treatment is complete.

If a dog bites you and breaks the skin:

  • Seek medical attention (call 911 if serious)
  • Report the bite to 311
  • Try to provide a clear description of dog
  • Obtain the dog owner's name and address
  • Write down the date, time and location where the bite occurred
  • Information about anyone who witnessed the bite
  • Take a clear photo of the bite injury – document that date and time of the photo
  • As soon as practical, In your own handwriting, make clear concise notes on what happened and document the date of the notes

If a dog bites you and does not break the skin:

Call 311 and provide:

  • A clear description of dog (if possible)Dog owner's name and address
  • Date, time and location where the bite occurred
  • Witness information, if possible


If you are the owner of a dog that has bitten:

  • Leash your dog and isolate it from causing further threats
  • Provide your contact information to the victim
  • Make clear, concise notes of the incident in your own handwriting
  • If the person's skin has been broken, isolate your dog until contacted by Public Health
  • If necessary, consult an expert about your dog's behaviour

What happens next?

Toronto Public Health will:

  • Initiate an animal to human exposure investigation
  • Contact the person who has been bitten to take a Rabies Exposure Report
  • Contact the dog owner (if known) and issue an order to confide and isolate the animal


Learn more about what you can do if you are bitten by a dog or about the responsibilities of a dog owner under the Dog Owner's Liability Act and Municipal Code, Chapter 349.

What to do when a dog bites brochure

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