Dogs in rural areas often take on a working role including predator control, livestock guardians and the home security system. Cats can be found in the barn keeping the rodent population under control. Most dogs and cats are also family pets. Whether you reside in urban or rural Ottawa, dogs and cats are subject to the same animal control bylaws including pet registration and noise complaints from barking dogs.
The City advocates and promotes responsible pet care and ownership for all residents in urban, suburban and rural areas. The Animal Care and Control By-law helps ensure public health and safety while promoting the appropriate care for animals.
Number of cats and dogs allowed
There is a limit on the number of dogs and cats over 20 weeks of age per household:
- Three dogs in all areas of the city including residents of rural Ottawa.
- Five cats in areas not zoned agricultural. There is no restriction on the number of cats kept in zoned agricultural, general rural, rural-agricultural or marginal resource.
- Where both dogs and cats are kept, a total of five animals are permitted with the maximum of three dogs.
Cat and dog registration
Residents in rural areas should register their dogs and domestic cats through the City’s pet registration service. A numbered metal tag will be provided to attach to your pets collar for its safety and identification. Registrations expire April 30 of each year. Fees for registration vary depending on whether the animal is sterilized and/or microchipped.
Lost and found pets
If you have lost or found a pet, please refer to the Lost and found section of the Ottawa Humane Society. Find out all the steps for reporting a lost animal and helpful hints for finding and reuniting pets with their owners.
Dogs in parks
The Animal Care and Control By-law provides for a variety of park usages or "designations" for dogs. There is a Dogs-in-Parks Designation Policy (DIPDP) that now applies.
For more detailed information, refer to the Dogs in parks Web page.
The city has enacted By-law 2013-107 with respect to boarding kennels, in-home breeding kennels and recreational kennels.
For building compliances regarding kennels, refer to by-law (Section 84) kennel provisions.