Regulation - LGIC

Updates to Standards of Care for Outdoor Dogs under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019

Regulation Number(s):
O. Reg. 444/19 – Standards of Care and Administrative Requirements
Instrument Type:
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019
Summary of Proposal:
The Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019 (PAWS Act) came into force on January 1, 2020, repealing and replacing the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Through the PAWS Act, Ontario:
• Enabled a fully provincial government-based enforcement model
• Enabled courts to impose the strongest financial penalties for offenders in Canada
• Updated prohibitions and obligations, such as prohibiting harming or attempting to harm a service animal
• Established a process for members of the public to make complaints about the conduct of inspectors that offers increased transparency and accountability

The PAWS Act and its regulations aim to ensure that all animals are protected and treated in a humane manner. Protections include setting out prohibitions against causing or permitting distress to an animal, basic standards of care that apply to all animals covered under the Act, and additional standards of care that apply to animals in certain circumstances including dogs that live outdoors, captive wildlife and enclosures for captive wildlife, captive primates and marine mammals.

Section 4 of O. Reg. 444/19 - Standards of Care and Administrative Requirements currently contains the following standards of care that apply to dogs that live outdoors:

Standards of care for dogs that live outdoors
4. (1) Every dog that lives primarily outdoors must be provided with a structurally sound enclosure for its use at all times.
(2) The enclosure must be weather-proofed and insulated.
(3) The size and design of the enclosure must be adequate and appropriate for the dog.
(4) A chain, rope or similar restraining device used to tether a dog that lives primarily outdoors,
(a) must be at least three metres long;
(b) must allow the dog to move safely and unrestricted, except by its length; and
(c) must allow the dog to have access to adequate and appropriate water and shelter.

The Ministry of the Solicitor General is proposing to create a definition of a dog "kept outdoors", as well as update the standards of care that apply to dogs "kept outdoors" with respect to their physical environment, health and nutrition. In particular, the proposed updates would cover requirements for:

• Outdoor doghouses;
• Containment;
• Food and water;
• Grooming and nail care; and,
• Health and welfare maintenance.

If approved, these regulatory amendments would replace the current standards of care for dogs that live outdoors and set out new, more comprehensive standards for the care of dogs kept outdoors. The ministry is proposing that the updated standards, if approved, would come into force on July 1, 2022.

For more details, please see the below consultation paper, attached as a Word document named "Consultation Paper - Proposal for Updated Standards of Care for Dogs Kept Outdoors", containing a summary of the proposed amendments.

The ministry welcomes your comments and feedback. Interested parties may submit comments by responding to this posting or by sending an email to animalwelfareconsultation@ontario.ca no later than Monday, March 7, 2022.


Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
If this proposal is approved, it is anticipated that there would be direct compliance costs for businesses that keep dogs outdoors in Ontario. To assist in assessing the impacts of this proposal, the ministry is seeking comments and feedback from impacted stakeholders pertaining to anticipated one-time and ongoing costs.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
21-SOLGEN027
Posting Date:
January 21, 2022
Comments Due Date:
March 7, 2022
Contact Address:
Ministry of the Solicitor General
George Drew Building
25 Grosvenor St, 9th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1Y6