News release

Standards of Care to Protect Pets in Effect December 1

City services | November 25, 2014

The new standards of care in the Animal Care and Control By-law for keeping animals outside for long periods; tethering; on doghouses and pens will be in effect as of December 1, 2014. Standards related to extreme weather and Animal Services staff authorization to enter on to private lands took effect September 10, 2014.

“With the winter season pet owners are especially reminded to monitor weather conditions using sources such as Environment Canada for weather alerts and to bring their pets in during extreme weather,” said Mickey Frost, director Enforcement. “The City will be using social media to remind residents and including a notice that the bylaw is in effect during extreme conditions.”

Standards of Care Summary

Animal Care and Control By-law 0098-04

Extreme Weather

  • Pets cannot be left outdoors during extreme weather
    except for brief walks or exercise unless the animal has
    access to adequate shelter. Some breeds can live
    outside during winter with proper shelter.

Adequate Shelter – Doghouses

  • Doghouses must be large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around, lie down and stretch its limbs to the fullest.
  • The doghouse floor, ceiling and walls must be insulated. Insulation must be covered with interior walls to prevent the dog from having contact with the insulation.
  • The doghouse must be safe, sanitary and in good repair with ample clean, dry bedding such as straw.
  • The doghouse must have a suitable door flap for the winter months. During the summer months a dog must have access to shade – in addition to the doghouse.
  • The doghouse must comply with the City’s Zoning By-law.

Veterinary Care

  • Owners must provide veterinary care to pets to relieve distress from injury neglect or disease.

Pens and Enclosures

  • Must be a minimum of 9.3 m2 or 100 ft2 per dog.
  • To be increased by 2.8 m2 or 30 ft2 for each additional dog.
  • Animals must be out of the pen and not tethered for four hours in any 24 hour time period.
  • Pens must be maintained in a sanitary condition with a dry area for the dog to lie down.Pens must be safe, secure and provide shade and shelter for the dog.


  • Animals must not be tethered for any longer than a total of four hours out of every 24 hours.
  • Tethers must be at least 3 m or 9.84 ft allowing the dog to move safely and unrestricted. The animal is to be in view of the owner with access to appropriate food, water, shelter and shade.

Automobile Travel

  • Animals cannot be left unattended in automobiles if weather conditions are not suitable and may cause the animal distress.
  • Animals must have suitable ventilation and be restrained to prevent contact between the animal and the public.
  • Animals travelling in automobiles must be in the passenger compartment of the vehicle or if outside must be in a securely fastened kennel that provides adequate
    ventilation and protects the animal from the elements.

For More information

Read the corporate Report, Animal Standards of Care

Contact Animal Services at 905-896-5858



Media Contact:
City of Mississauga Media Relations
905-615-3200, ext. 5232
TTY: 905-896-5151