What To Know About the Legality of Different Pets in Ontario

There are different things you should know about keeping pets in Ontario. What do you need to know about legal requirements regarding Ontario pets?

If you live in Ontario and are thinking of getting a new pet, make sure you’re in line with the legal requirements of the area. This is especially true if you’ve just moved to Ontario, but many longtime citizens of Ontario don’t know the laws regarding pet legality. Before you look into your next pet, here are five things to know.

1. Ontario Leaves Most Restrictions Up to the Cities

Rather than enacting provincial bans on most animals, Ontario allows cities to enact their own policies. That means the restrictions you see for Ontario as a whole are typically the least restrictive versions of policies that may be enacted city-wide. It’s important to look at the city you live in, not just the Ontario provincial restrictions.

2. Individual Cities May Have Certain Laws and Requirements

Many of the cities in Ontario have enacted their own bylaws regarding what pets you may and may not have. So rather than provincial laws, you’ll need to check on the bylaws in your local area. For example, Toronto has a wide variety of restrictions and laws regarding pets, including a restriction on the number of cats and dogs you can own, as well as other restrictions on the types of animals you can own.

3. There Are Two Pets Specifically Illegal To Own in Ontario

In all of Ontario, there are two specific animals that it is illegal to own. According to the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, the pit bull breed is disallowed in Ontario. However, many owners of pit bulls in Ontario have pushed for this to be overturned, and Ottawa has indicated that it will not enforce the ban, even though it holds legal power. Although pit bulls are technically disallowed entirely, support for this bill has varied over time, and there are many positive signs that indicate Ontario is considering shifting to breed-neutral laws.

4. Legal Pets May Still Require Licenses

Even if your pet is completely legal to own, you may still need to get a license for that pet. Check with your city or municipality for details on license registration and fees. Rates may vary and in some jurisdictions may even be free. In some cases, presenting proof of vaccination against rabies may reduce the license cost.

5. Taking Care of All Pets Is Important

No matter what pets you end up buying, it’s always important to take care of them. Even if you have the laziest, least dangerous cat breed, it is still illegal to mistreat or neglect your animal. Make sure you have knowledge of how to take care of all animals you have in your care. A pet telehealth provider like Vetster.com can be a great option for people who want to make sure they’re taking care of their pets at all times.

Pet Ownership in Ontario

Most of the elements of legality regarding owning a pet in Ontario are going to be city by city. On a provincial level, Ontario hasn’t banned many pets, but some cities have more restrictive laws regarding what pets you can own and how you can own them. However, no matter what pets you own, you still need to be sure you’re keeping them safe and healthy. Pet health services, including both local veterinarians and telehealth, can help you get there.

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