Do you want to have a pet in Canada? Stay tuned to the rules!

Canada has specific legislation for pet owners. Care rules and limits vary from province to province and breaking the laws can hurt your pocket. The fines in Toronto for breaking the rules are around CAD$ 240

It is important to check your local city law before deciding on a pet

According to the Statistics Canada website, in 2018 there were about 8.3 million cats in Canadian homes and approximately 8.2 million pet dogs in the country. Such a large number of pets caused numerous laws to be implemented to regulate the daily lives of these animals. In most parts of Canada dogs and cats must have a government license to roam the streets, there are specific times for your pet to ride public transport and it is important to be aware of signs indicating where your pet may or may not enter, including open parks.

The rules of care and limits for animals vary from province to province, so ideally, you should consult your local law before bringing a pet to Canada or buying / adopting one here. Toronto, Ontario, has a set of laws (Chapter 349) that determine penalties if you travel with your pet at a time and place that is not allowed, if your dog bites a person or other pet, or if you do not collect the waste from your animal. A curiosity is that there is a limit of six animals at home, regardless of the combination (Two cats, two birds, a rabbit and a dog, for example), but with a maximum of three dogs per residence. Pet owners also cannot be seen on the streets walking with more than three dogs at the same time, unless you are a commercial dog walker. Another curiosity is that there is a list of animals that are prohibited from being raised in Toronto, such as pigs, tigers, sheep and ducks.

In Ontario dogs and cats must have a compulsory license. Payment is annual and costs C $ 25 for neutered animals and C $ 60 for non-sterilized animals. The value will also vary if the owner of the animal is elderly or not. In addition to being mandatory, the annual payment of the license for your dog or cat brings benefits such as discounts on products for animals, application of rabies vaccine and identification with registration number, city name and telephone number to contact if your pet get lost. The penalty for those who do not comply with this is C $ 240. The same fee applies for dogs without a collar (unless they are in a free area for dogs), for noise infractions (abusive barking) and for having more than number of animals allowed per household.

Malbeck, aGerman spitz, adopted by Ariana Brugger.

In 2018, the student Ariana Brugger, licensed her German Spitz dog Malbeck’s as soon as she adopted him. “I really like taking him to parks so that he has contact with other dogs and the fact that he is registered makes me feel safer. Every year the government sends us a letter reminding us of the license renewal, which is super simple,”, she says.

Animal registration and payment can be done online via the Toronto Animal Services page. The website asks for information such as breed, color, age, whether it is neutered or not, and weight. If the animal is sterilized, the owner must provide the contact details of the veterinary clinic that performed the operation, even if not in Canada. To learn more about the rules of care and limits for pets in Toronto, visit

The regulation of pets, as well as the costs involved in licensing an animal, vary from province to province and from city to city. In Montreal, for example, sterilization and microchip implantation have become mandatory, since January 2020, for dogs and cats over 6 months of age. It is important to check your local city law before deciding on a pet. This type of information is easily found online, often on official city websites.