Pet owner responsibilities

Pet owners in Mississauga must follow the City’s Animal Care and Control By-law to ensure our communities remain safe and respectful of each other and our pet companions.

Keep your dog on a leash

Dogs must be on a leash whenever they are in public, except for inside leash-free dog parks in the City. If you do not put your dog on a leash, you may be fined up to $140.

In addition, if you allow your dog to run at large outside of leash-free parks, you may be fined a minimum of $115. Depending on the situation, your dog may receive a ride home on its first offence.

A leash helps to keep your dog safe and prevent them from:

  • Getting lost
  • Running into traffic or getting hit by a vehicle
  • Eating non-edible items, poison, animal waste, toxic plants and drinking from contaminated puddles
  • Encountering unfriendly dogs and wildlife such as coyotes
  • Coming into contact with dead or diseased wildlife
  • Scaring, jumping or biting children, people or other pets
  • Your dog’s leash must not be longer than 1.8 metres (6 feet).
  • Check that your dog’s collar and leash are properly fitted and in good repair.
  • Ensure the person walking your dog can physically be in control in all situations. For example, don’t let young children walk large dogs.
  • Make sure to train and socialize your dog before you take it to a leash-free park. Monitor your dog at all times when you are there.
  • Keep children under the age of 12 outside of leash-free dog parks.

Animal Services will continue to enforce various aspects of the Animal Care and Control By-law 0094-04 as amended. However, dog owners must also manage their responsibilities within leash-free areas.

Clean up after your dog

As a dog owner, you are responsible for cleaning up after your dog in public spaces.

  • It is the environmentally responsible thing to do.
  • Undisposed dog waste attracts rodents and coyotes. Help keep them away from your community by cleaning up after your dog.
  • Dog waste is not a fertilizer and takes months to break down. It is also highly acidic and can harm the soil and kill the grass and plants.
  • Dog waste contains E. coli bacteria and other parasites that are harmful to humans and dogs.
  • Dog waste can contaminate the water supply as it will soak into groundwater, get carried into storm sewers and flow into streams.
  • Dispose dog waste by putting it into a waste container or designated green dog waste container.
  • Do not put dog waste in to be recycled.

Take care of your cat

To ensure the well-being of your pet cat, consider the following rules and safety tips.
  • It is prohibited to allow your cat to roam outside of your property in Mississauga. You may be subject to a fine of a minimum of $115 if you do so.
  • We recommend that you keep your cat indoors or within your property to ensure it is safe from potentially dangerous wildlife or cars.
  • Consider getting a cat scratching post for your cat. It can help keep your furniture from getting ruined, while allowing it to scratch.
  • Cats are known to nibble on house plants. Make sure to remove any plants that can be harmful for cats from your home.
  • If you choose to put a collar on your cat, consider getting a breakaway collar. They are the only type of collars safe for cats.
  • Consider getting your cat microchipped. This will help during emergency situations, such as when your cat escapes your home and gets lost outdoors.
  • Consider getting a cat carrier to safely move your cat to and from visits to the vet.

General tips for pet animals

Practice the following tips to ensure your and your pet’s well-being and safety:

  • License your pet and ensure it wears the tag at all times. You may be subject to a minimum fine of $115 if you fail to do so.
  • Spay or neuter your pet to help protect them against illnesses.
  • Train and socialize your pet to ensure it isn’t a danger or nuisance to other people and pets.
  • Vaccinate your pet against diseases every year.
  • Never leave your pet inside a car on warm and hot days.
  • Keep medications out of your children and pet’s reach.
  • Prevent your pet from trying to escape your home when you open the door leading outdoors.
  • Secure loose wires or cords.
  • Do not keep your pet’s food outdoors to avoid contamination or attracting wildlife.

Spay or neuter your pet

If you’re getting a new pet or if your pet hasn’t been spayed or neutered yet, consider doing so.

Spay or neuter your pet to:

  • help protect them against reproductive health problems or illnesses, such as uterine infection, tumours, risk of ovarian, uterine, mammary, testicular cancer, pyometra and prostate issues
  • reduce unwanted litters
  • reduce the number of unwanted pets from entering Animal Services shelters and rescue centres
  • stop female animals from going into heat
  • reduce behavioural issues such as:
    • biting and attacking
    • the need to roam, guard or spray the environment to mark their territory
    • excessive barking, yowling or meowing
    • mounting activity
Ideally, it’s best to spay or neuter your pet when they’re younger, around five months old. This is especially important for cats as female cats can become pregnant starting from when they’re four months old.Consult your vet to select the best time to have them spayed or neutered as your vet will consider their breed and weight.

Report stoop and scoop incidents

Animal Services doesn’t patrol for stoop and scoop issues. However, we will continue to take a community-based approach to address these concerns and enforce the by-laws when the culprit is identified. Please continue to report Stoop and Scoop issues.

For clean-up requests, please call 311 or 905-615-4311 if you’re calling from outside City limits.

To help encourage pet owners to clean after their pet, you can download and display the Scoop that Poop poster on your property.

General inquiries

Contact Animal Services at 905-896-5858 for more information about pet ownership and safety tips.