City Of Mississauga Passes Milestone Ban On Outdoor Confinement For Pe

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
With the new bylaw in place, owners will no longer be allowed to leave dogs outside for extended periods of time.

Dogs in Mississauga, Ontario, just let out a huge woof of relief – the 24/7 ban on outdoor confinement for pets has passed unanimously!

What does this mean, exactly? Pets can’t be left outside (tethered or otherwise) for any longer than a total of four hours out of every 24 hours. The bylaw comes after complaints that pets were being left outside for extended lengths of time during extreme weather, both hot and cold, without adequate shelter. And if you live in many parts of Canada, you know how hot and humid it can be in the summer – and how unbearably cold and snowy in gets in the winter!

A few cities and states have bylaws similar to this in effect, while others are working on petitions to ban outdoor confinement for animals where they live. Mississauga, along with Toronto and other surrounding GTA cities, have already banned the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores in order to curtail puppy mill operations. This outdoor confinement bylaw will pave the way for other cities in the area to pass similar ordinances.

Here are some of the by-law’s highlights:

  • Pets cannot be left outdoors during extreme weather except for brief walks or exercise unless the animal has access to adequate shelter to protect the animal – in effect immediately.
  • Animal Services officers will be authorized to enter on private lands to inspect and ensure the Animal Care and Control bylaw is being followed – in effect immediately.
  • Doghouses must be large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around, lie down and stretch its limbs to the fullest. They must be insulated; have clean dry bedding and shade; be in good repair; and comply with the City’s Zoning by-law. There are extra requirements for each additional dog.
  • Pens must be 9.3 square meters or 100 square feet – to be increased by 2.8 square metres x 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.
  • Animals must not be tethered for any longer than a total of four hours out of every 24 hours. Tethers must be at least three meters 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.
  • 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 kennel that is securely fastened to the vehicle that provides adequate ventilation and protects the animal.
  • Owners must provide veterinary care to pets to relieve distress from injury neglect or disease.

These changes will take place on December 1, 2014 and will be enforced on a complaints basis. This is just the beginning, and there will be changes to the bylaw as time goes on. But I think this a start in the right direction, and hope all cities will implement this measure. What do you think of this new bylaw? Does your city have a similar bylaw in effect? Please leave your comments down below.

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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