Dogs and Cats

Learn about your responsibilities as a pet owner under the town's Animal Control By-law.

Pet owner responsibilities

Pet owners in Oakville must follow the rules set out in the town's Animal Control By-law

Under the by-law all pet owner must provide their animals with a minimum standard of care. This includes, but is not limited to, providing a clean, sanitary environment and adequate care that meets the physical and behavioural needs of the animal, such as food, water, shelter, warmth, light, adequate ventilation, physical exercise, and veterinary care.

Dog ownership

You must purchase a dog licence within seven days of becoming a dog owner or seven days from the date that you move to Oakville if you already own a dog. The Oakville identification tag must be attached to the dog at all times. 

Licences may be purchased from:

Licences are valid for one year from the date of purchase and must be renewed annually before expiration. Failure to purchase and renew your licence could result in a fine. Proof of spay/neuter must be provided on first application.

Visit the Oakville & Milton Humane Society website for more information about dog licences and licensing fees.

In Oakville, dogs are not permitted to be at large, meaning your dog is not allowed to be straying or roaming off-leash unless on your property or at a designated off-leash dog park. Leash-free dog parks are fully fenced areas where you are allowed to have up to two dogs off-leash at a time. 

A dog off-leash is a ticketable offence under the Parks By-law and Animal Control By-law. Violators can be fined a minimum of $300 and maximum of up to $100,000 for each offence. 

To report a violation, please call the Oakville & Milton Humane Society at 905-845-1551 and an animal control officer will be dispatched to follow up.

As an owners or dog walker, you must "stoop and scoop" your dog's waste and dispose of it in appropriate garbage bins at home or in public.

You must maintain control of your dog at all times. Other dogs and people may not appreciate your dog approaching them. Any dog that bites or attacks a person or domestic animal may be declared a biting or potentially dangerous dog. 

To report a violation, please call the Oakville & Milton Humane Society at 905-845-1551 and an animal control officer will be dispatched to follow up.

Dogs that disturb an individual’s peace and quiet by persistently barking or howling are in violation of the Town of Oakville Noise By-law. Complaints under the Noise By-law may be made to ServiceOakville at 905-845-6601. 

If you are reporting a noise disturbance, it is advisable that you keep a sound log to document the duration and frequency of the issue.

Cat ownership

Cats do not require a licence, however, they must be identified by:

  • a microchip, implanted by a vet, or
  • a breakaway collar on which:
    • the owner's name and address are permanently inscribed, or 
    • an Oakville & Milton Humane Society cat tag is attached.

In addition to being a requirement in the town, a collar with identifying information and/or a microchip has benefits to you and your cats. Cats sometimes escape their home, out of curiosity or out of fear. If your cat is found outside wearing a collar with identification, or with a microchip, it will make it easier to contact you and reconnect you with your pet.

If you let your cat outside, they must remain on your property. 

Your cat(s) are not permitted to be at-large. This means they are not allowed to be straying or roaming off-leash in public areas, or on neighbouring home or business' properties.

This protects your cat from collisions with vehicles and keeps them safe from urban wildlife, including foxes, coyotes and large birds, as well as dogs and other cats.

Restricted and prohibited pets

A maximum of two restricted animals may be kept in a dwelling in Oakville. Restricted animals are:

  • mice
  • rabbits
  • gerbils
  • ferrets
  • hamsters
  • guinea pigs
  • other rodentia which do not exceed 1500 grams and are derived from a self-sustaining captive population.

Pigeons: No person shall keep more than one pigeon unless the person provides or maintains suitable lofts or cages and unless the person is a member in good standing of a recognized pigeon club which has, as its sole purpose, the racing or showing of pigeons.

In the Town of Oakville, it is illegal to own and keep a prohibited animal. 

See Schedule A of the Animal Control By-law for a list of animals that are prohibited in the town.

Animal control services

Animal control services, including the enforcement of the animal control by-law, are provided by the Oakville & Milton Humane Society. Animal control services include:

  • Pick up of stray animals 
  • Removal of dead wildlife on town property including town roads
  • Removal of dead animals on regional roads
  • Enforcement of leash requirements
  • Investigating animal welfare concerns
  • Responding to biting and aggressive dog concerns

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