Standards of pet care

The City of Mississauga’s Animal Care and Control By-law includes standards of care to help protect animals and ensure their well-being.

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.


  • 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

Pens and enclosures

  • Must be a minimum of 9.3 square metres or 100 square feet per dog
  • To be increased by 2.8 square metres or 30 square feet 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 metres or 9.84 feet 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.

Veterinary care

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

Chicken coops

Keeping chickens is not allowed under the Animal Care and Control By-law.

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.

If you need more information about animal care, contact the Animal Services Shelter at 905-896-5858.

Animal Services Enforcement Officers are authorized to enter on private lands for inspections to ensure the by-law is being followed. Charges under the by-law may apply where there is evidence.