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Government of Ontario Seeks Feedback on Proposed Updates to Standards of Care for Outdoor Dogs

The Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General has proposed updates to the existing standards of care for dogs that live outdoors under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act (PAWS Act) and is seeking public comment via the Ontario Regulatory Registry until Monday, March 7, 2022.  

CKC supports the strengthening of legislation to ensure the health and safety of all dogs while recognizing that such changes must be reasonable and enforceable. We urge members to review ALL proposed changes titled “Consultation Paper Proposal for Updated Standards of Care for Dogs Kept Outdoors” and have your say! The updates cover several requirements and will affect all dogs “kept outdoors” including “racing, hunting and field trial” dogs. Please consider how the proposed changes, including those highlighted below, may impact your breed, kennel, and sport.


  • Outdoor doghouses
  • Containment
    • Note: Minimum space required in a housing pen
      • If an owner or custodian pens a dog “kept outdoors” the housing pen must provide a minimum of nine (9) unrestricted square metres of space for one dog, and an additional five (5) square metres for each additional dog that is group housed.
      • An exception from the requirement for 5 square meters per additional dog would apply when a female dog is nursing their litter (until weaned).
    • Note: Maximum time on a tether
      • Owner or custodian must ensure a dog that is on tether for more than 24 consecutive hours is provided with off-tether time of at least 30 minutes, with specific exceptions.
      • Exceptions where a dog is permitted to remain on the tether after 24 consecutive hours include:
        • If the dog has, within the 24-hour period prior, participated in a racing or hunting and field trial event and requires rest as a result of participating in the event.
        • If based on the advice of a licensed veterinarian, the dog should not be released from containment for health reasons.
        • If extreme weather conditions (based on weather advisory by Environment Canada) would make it unsafe for the dog to be released (e.g., if weather conditions, such as a heat advisory, made it unsafe for a dog to exercise).
  • Food and water
    • Note: All dog kept outdoors must be provided with continuous access to unfrozen water, clean palatable water. Consider how this may be achievable during the winter months.
  • Grooming and nail care
  • Health and welfare maintenance

Please submit feedback via Ontario’s Regulatory Registry page or to the attention of the Ministry of the Solicitor General at until March 7, 2022. If approved, the updated regulation is expected to come into effect on July 1, 2022.
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