Starting July 1, the City of Winnipeg is updating the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law regarding new requirements for pet owners and businesses.

"Best practices in animal welfare and control have evolved since we first introduced the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law in 2013," says Leland Gordon, the City's General Manager of Animal Services. "The recent by-law review gave us an opportunity to engage pet owners, businesses, and animal welfare organizations to understand how we can modernize these regulations to improve the health and safety of pets and communities."

Owner responsibilities

Among the new rules for pet owners and businesses, dogs are now prohibited from being restrained or housed outside for long periods of time, and there must be supervision of the animal when it is outside. This is to reduce the impact that animals have on the neighbourhoods, discourage negative behaviours from the animals, and protect them from exposure to fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and other dangers.

With warm temperatures approaching quickly, pet owners and businesses should be aware that the new regulations related to weather and pet safety. Pets are prohibited from being left alone in unattended vehicles when it is 22 degrees Celsius or warmer and -10 degrees or colder. This does not apply when the vehicle is turned on with operational air conditioning or heating.

For the safety and well-being of the animal, cycling with a dog is prohibited in temperatures that exceed 22 degrees.

Coexistence with wildlife

The use of body hold or glue traps outside is now prohibited as they can cause damage or kill animals that it is not targeted at, such as cats, dogs, and birds.

The use of rodenticides outside—pes control products that target mice, rates, and other rodents—is now prohibited except for the use by licensed pest control companies or governmental agencies. Live release traps are still allowed, but require to be checked on daily and any trapped animals must be released or properly euthanized.

The act of feeding wildlife is also now prohibited, with the exception of birds, to prevent overpopulation of urban wildlife and reduce any potential conflicts with humans.

Intact pet licenses

Pet owners who do not wish to spay or neuter their pets are now required to participate in frequent veterinarian care and have a clean history of pet ownership—including no current or past ownership of at-risk or dangerous animals.

The consequence of not abiding by these requirements will have their intact pet license revoked and will not be able to possess a license, and their pets will have to be spayed or neutered.


To breed a dog or cat, Winnipeg residents are now required to obtain a breeder permit. The permit holds the breeder accountable for regular veterinarian care for the animals, an initial inspection of the breeding property, and a history of responsible pet ownership.

An individual female dog or cat may not exceed more than one litter per year, with a total limit of four litters in their lifetime.

Dog daycares

Animal facilities must have separate play areas for small and large dogs, with a minimum of 20 sq. ft. per dog in small dog areas, and 35 sq. ft. per dog in large dog areas. There must also be one staff member for every 25 small dogs and one staff member for every 20 large dogs.

These regulations are meant to ensure the safety of staff and pets. There is also the requirement for mandatory dog assessment and staff training, and guidelines for safety and cleaning standards in the facilities.