Animal Services

Pets in the City

Taking Care of Your Pet

  • Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment. Choose a pet that fits your lifestyle. Don't get a high-energy dog, if you don't have the time to exercise it.
  • Spay or neuter your pets.
  • Be aware of weather conditions. Leaving your dog in the car on a hot day or in the yard without shade or water is risking your dog's life.
  • Make sure your home is "pet" safe. Pesticides, medications, household cleaners and some houseplants (dieffenbachia, philodendron, hyacinth, and mistletoe) can be deadly to your pet. Keep them out of reach.
  • Provide veterinary care for your pet. Keep its vaccinations up-to-date and make sure they have annual check-ups.
  • Provide your pet the proper diet. Obesity can be as deadly as malnutrition. Be aware that some foods can be deadly, such as chocolate, and fatty foods can cause pancreatitis.

Pets in Public Spaces

  • It is the pet owner's responsibility to control their pet at all times.
  • Provide training and socialization for your pets.
  • Don't make your dog a "backyard dog". Dogs thrive on companionship and need to be with their human pack
  • Walk your dog often and on a leash, no longer than two metres.
  • Don't let your pets run loose. Take your dog to one of the city's off-leash parks. Some dogs are excluded from off-leash areas, including female dogs in heat, dogs that must be muzzled or leashed under order from Toronto Animal Services, unlicensed dogs.
  • If your dog is nervous or uncomfortable around people or other animals, be honest and take precautions.
  • Some people fear dogs – respect their feelings and concerns.
  • Pick up after your pet.
  • Microchip your pet. See the list of Chip Truck locations.


Know the City's Animal Bylaws

  • License your dog or cat. The Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349, requires that all dogs and cats owned in the City of Toronto must be licensed and wearing a tag. By licensing your dog or cat, Animal Services will make every effort to reunite you with your pet if it gets lost.
  • The maximum numbers of pets that you can own is six cats and three dogs.
  • Pick up after your pet on private and public property.
  • Your dog must be kept on a leash no more than two metres long. You must be holding onto the leash - leashing your dog to a pole or bike rack is not allowed.
  • On private property, you cannot use a rope or chain less than three metres long.
  • The owner of a dog is liable for a bite on another person or animal.  See What to do when a dog bites.
  • If your dog is continuously barking or whining and disturbing your neighbours, you can be fined under the Noise Bylaw.

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