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Registration and regulations

Cat and dog registration

NEW! $25 Coupon for each Pet Registration or Renewal.  To learn more, view the Ren's Pet coupon flyer or login to MyServiceOttawa.

The Ren's coupon program applies to all 2020 pet registrations.  If registering online, an email providing the coupon link will be sent to the pet owner within 3 business days.  Please note that pets cannot be registered at Ren's store locations; registration must be completed through the City of Ottawa.

The City of Ottawa requires that cat and dog owners register their pets. This ensures the City has the necessary information to help reunite you with your pet if it becomes lost.  Pet registrations must be renewed on an annual basis.

You can register your pet or renew your existing registration:


You can now manage your pet registrations and access expanded service options online through My ServiceOttawa, including:

  • Create new pet registrations
  • Renew existing pet registrations
  • Update and change information to existing pet registrations
  • Request  replacement identification tags
  • Pay fees directly through (MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Interac Online and Visa Debit.)

As of June 20, 2011, all pet registration fees are non-refundable

In person

This service is available by appointment only.

Please select a location to book an appointment time:

City Hall - 110 Laurier Ave West

Nepean - 101 Centrepointe Dr

Effective July 15, 2020, masks are required to be worn in enclosed public spaces at City of Ottawa facilities as per the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law.

Registration fees effective January 1, 2020:



for each cat/dog under 6 months of age, which is unsterilized:


for each cat/dog 6 months of age or older, which is sterilized:


for each cat/dog 6 months of age or older, which is unsterilized:


for each dog whose owner has been convicted of permitting the dog to bite or attack, without provocation, a person or domestic animal:


for each service animal:


replacement of first lost identification tag:


for each additional replacement identification tag:


Spay/Neuter Clinic

logo of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario


The Spay/Neuter Clinic is a City-operated facility which provides dog and cat sterilization and microchipping services. Spaying or neutering pets reduces the number of unwanted domesticated animals and the cost of animal control. The Clinic is a revenue neutral service, meaning that fees are set to recover the cost of services without generating a loss or a profit.  Fees for service are approved by City Council as necessary to maintain that objective.

For more information on the Clinic, please call 613-798-8970 during business hours.

For vaccinations, please contact your local veterinarian.


View Larger Map
City of Ottawa Spay/Neuter Clinic
26 Concourse Gate, Unit no 5
Nepean, K2E 7T7
(Located in the Colonnade Business Park, off of Colonnade Road South.)

Business Hours

As part of Phase 1 of the City of Ottawa reopening plan, the Spay/Neuter Clinic has reopened for surgeries, with priority for those that were postponed due to the closure of the facility.

If you had an appointment that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you will be contacted to reschedule. The Clinic is now pleased to be accepting new bookings. Feel free to leave a message but it may take up to two weeks for us to return calls given new procedures. Thank you for your patience.

Please note, new processes have been implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Staff will inform you of the changes when your pet’s surgery is scheduled.

Note also that we are not able to accept walk-in requests for appointments or other services at this time.

10:00 a.m. - Noon, and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  

Monday - Thursday

Closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday and statutory holidays


Fees for surgery displayed below include all routine medications. Surgeries on pets with certain medical conditions may be subject to additional fees.

Surgery Fee Cost with HST rounded to the nearest dollar
Male cat $167
Female Cat $214

Male Dog*

Female Dog* $351-467
Microchip $35
Rabies vaccine $29
City of Ottawa License fee $22

*Fee range is based on weight

A microchip is less than half an inch long
Why microchip my pet?

  • Permanent: A microchip is good for the life of your pet.
  • Painless: We place this tiny chip under the skin while your pet is asleep for their spay/neuter procedure.
  • North American-Wide Protection: Your pet’s information is accessible by any scanner in North America and can even be transferred internationally.
  • Pay only once: A one-time fee protects your pet for life.
  • Even indoor pets escape: Be safe and microchip your pet!

If you would like your pet microchipped please inform us when you arrive on the morning of surgery.

Pre-operative Instructions

Advantages of spaying or neutering your pet

Spaying your female pet:

  • Eliminates the heat cycle and associated symptoms such as crying, nervous pacing, the desire to roam and the excretion of blood
  • Stops unwelcome visits by male suitors
  • Reduces the risk of breast cancer, one of the most common malignancies in the female feline
  • Prevents diseases of the uterus and ovaries as well as some skin disorders

Neutering your male pet:

  • Reduces or eliminates the tendency to mark territory with strong-smelling urine
  • Prevents prostate disease and certain cancers
  • May reduce the likelihood that your pet will stray from home and become lost or injured

Common myths about spaying or neutering

Spaying or neutering my pet will cause obesity.— False. Exercise and proper diet will keep your pet healthy and active.

My female pet needs to have a heat period and litter to round out her personality. — False. There is no proven benefit in allowing the animal to have a heat period or a litter prior to spaying.

What happens during the surgery?

A qualified veterinarian must perform both types of surgeries. The procedures are performed under full anaesthesia and sterile conditions.

The spaying of a cat or dog involves the removal of the female reproductive tract. The neutering of a cat or dog involves the removal of the male testes. These surgeries can be performed on cats 5 months or older, and dogs 5 months or older.

Private veterinary clinics also offer spay/neuter services. Check the Yellow Pages for complete listings or consult with your own veterinarian for details on this important aspect of responsible pet ownership.

How to Care for Your Pet After Surgery

How to Care for Your Pet After Surgery Information Guide

Pre-operative Instructions

For Cats and Dogs Which Have a Surgery Appointment Booked

(Please note that drop-ins will not be accepted)


Pets need to be fasted. No food after 10:00 p.m. the night before surgery and no water the morning of the surgery.  


Please bring any paperwork for your pet with you to the Clinic at the time of the appointment. This may include vaccine certificates, blood work results, microchip and City of Ottawa registration numbers.

Admission and discharge times the day of surgery

Dogs must arrive at 7:30 a.m. and cats at 8:00 a.m. An examination will be conducted by the Veterinarian prior to leaving your pet at the Clinic, so clients can expect to be at the Clinic for about 30 minutes while their pet is checked-in. If there are no health concerns, the pet will be admitted for surgery. All pets are to be picked up between 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. the same afternoon, unless otherwise advised. Clients can expect to spend about 15 minutes at the Clinic when picking up their pet. 

Leashes and Carriers

Cats must be brought into the Clinic in a crate or a carrier, and dogs on a short leash or in a carrier. This is essential for safety, as there are often several pets in the reception area at the same time.

Vaccinations and Pre-Anesthetic Blood Work

It is strongly recommended, but not required, that all pets be fully vaccinated and have pre-anesthetic blood work at least two (2) weeks prior to surgery. The Clinic does not perform vaccinations or do blood work. It is recommended that you discuss vaccines and blood work with the full-service veterinary clinic of your choice. 

Location and Directions

The Clinic is located at 26 Concourse Gate, Unit 5, Ottawa, (K2E 7T7)
in the Colonnade Business Park, off of Colonnade Rd. South.
Business hours:9:00 a.m-12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday.
Telephone number:613-798-8970

Stoop and scoop

Dog waste is a public health hazard, takes the pleasure out of outdoor activities and pollutes the environment. Help improve public opinion of dogs and dog owners - make it a habit to pick up after your dog and to take the waste home to dispose of it on your own premises. The City encourages flushing pet waste down the toilet, as it will be properly treated at the sewage plant. Dog owners can also place the waste in their regular garbage as long as it is properly wrapped in absorbent paper and placed in a sealed, leak proof bag. Failure to pick up after your dog is a by-law offence. Failure to take it home and dispose of it on your own premises is also an offence under the by-law.

By-law Services staff is also currently working with Public Words and Services staff on identifying alternatives and determining costs and feasibility of placing special receptacles for pet waste in parks.

Limits on the number of dogs and cats

The limits on the number of dogs and cats, over 20 weeks of age, per household within the City of Ottawa are as follows:

  • three dogs in all areas of the City
  • five cats in areas not zoned agricultural
  • where both dogs and cats are kept, a total of five animals, with a maximum of three dogs
  • no restriction on the number of cats kept in areas zoned agricultural

Discover how to protect yourself and others from vicious dogs and which communities allow dogs to have their day in the park.

Do you have more creatures to care for? Find out which provisions apply to exotic animals.

Microchipping and sterilization

Thousands of stray dogs and cats are brought to the municipal pound each year because these animals don’t have – or aren’t wearing – identifying tags. About 60 per cent of dogs and six per cent of cats are claimed by their owners. Though many of these pets find new homes through the Ottawa Humane Society's Adoption Centre, those pets which can’t be placed are humanely euthanized. 


Microchips provide a permanent means of pet identification. Microchips store owner information, which is used to return your lost pet to you. The Ottawa Humane Society holds microchip clinics on a regular basis. Private veterinary clinics and the City's Spay/Neuter Clinic also offer microchipping services. 


Being a responsible pet owner includes having your pet spayed or neutered (sterilized). A controlled pet population lowers the incidence of disease, and — in the long term — reduces the cost of animal control. Proof of sterilization reduces the cost of registering your pet and must be submitted with your registration form. This proof includes one of the following: 

  • Spay/Neuter Certificate received following the surgery 
  • Signed note from a qualified veterinarian 
  • Copy of an invoice from a veterinary facility identifying the animal as spayed or neutered 
  • Copy of your adoption agreement, as applicable  



What are the fees for registering my cat or dog?

The fees are listed below.

  • for each cat/dog under 6 months of age, which is unsterilized: $22
  • for each cat/dog 6 months of age or older, which is sterilized: $22
  • for each cat/dog 6 months of age or older, which is unsterilized: $42
  • for each dog whose owner has been convicted of permitting the dog to bite or attack, without provocation, a person or domestic animal:$102
  • for each service animal: free
  • replacement of first lost identification tag: free
  • for each additional replacement identification tag: $10

Registering your cat or dog is an annual requirement with the exception of Lifetime registrations. You can register your pet:

You will receive a numbered metal tag which must be worn on your pet’s collar/harness, particularly when outside of your home.

Why do I need to register and vaccinate (against rabies) my cat or dog?

Regardless of a cat's/dog's and its owner's lifestyle, the City of Ottawa requires that all cats/dogs be registered on an annual basis.

Your pet's tag is its identification, ensuring that it can be returned to you. The tag also lets others know that your cat or dog has a home.

Losing a pet can be a traumatic experience for both the owner and the pet. By identifying and registering your cat or dog with the City of Ottawa, you are helping to ensure that your pet is reunited with you if it becomes lost. It has been our experience that a cat or dog with a registration tag attached to its collar/harness is often returned to the owner the same day that it is found. Without one, the owner must search all nearby shelters and animal hospitals looking for his/her cat or dog.

In addition, pursuant to the Health Protection and Promotion Act, all cats and dogs must be vaccinated against rabies.  For more information, contact the Public Health Branch 3-1-1 or visit

Where does the money collected through cat or dog registration go?

The fees collected through pet registration helps the City return lost pets to their homes.  The fees do not however even come close to recovering the costs associated with administration and enforcement of the Animal Care and Control By-law or the costs of housing stray pets at the municipal animal shelter.

How do I update my cat or dog's registration information?

In order to keep accurate and up-to-date records, we ask you to please provide us with any updated information related to either you or your pet(s). Updated information (e.g., new mailing address, phone number, etc.) can be updated:

I recently moved to Ottawa. I had my cat/dog registered at my old place of residence. Can I transfer my registration to you or do I need to obtain a new one?

We cannot accept cat or dog registrations from other municipalities. You will need to re-apply with the City of Ottawa for a new cat or dog registration.

Are there any special rules about registering “pit bulls”?

Yes.  In light of the Province’s Dog Owners' Liability Act and associated regulations banning "pit bulls" and regulating existing "pit bulls", the City may only register/license “pit bulls” which:

    1. were owned by an Ontario resident prior to August 29th, 2005 or
    2. were born in Ontario prior to November 28th, 2005.

Such dogs are referred to as "restricted pit bulls", more commonly known as "grandfathered".  These "pit bulls" may remain in Ontario.

The City may NOT legally register/license “pit bulls” which do not fall within the above-noted category.  Such dogs are referred to as "prohibited pit bulls".

Additional information on the provincial legislation may be obtained from the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General’s website at

For more information on the municipal role with respect to the legislation, contact Christine Hartig, By-law Services Project/Policy Officer, at 580-2424, ext. 25629.

How can I prove that my dog is a “restricted pit bull” to be able to register it?

If there is any question as to whether or not the dog is "restricted" or "prohibited", the onus proof is on the applicant.  Copies of previous Ontario pet registrations, veterinary records, animal shelter claim or adoption records, breeder records, or family photos of the same dog may be used as proof of the dog's status, i.e. date of residence or birth.

What is a “pit bull”?

Under the Province’s Dog Owners’ Liability Act, "pit bull” includes, (a) a pit bull terrier, (b) a Staffordshire bull terrier, (c) an American Staffordshire terrier, (d) an American pit bull terrier, (e) a dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to those of dogs referred to in any of clauses (a) to (d).

Item (e) does NOT include a purebred dog of another type where the owner provides proof thereof, such as breed/kennel club registration papers.

How do I replace a lost dog or cat tag?

If the metal tag becomes lost, damaged or worn out, it can be replaced free of charge by forwarding your request to the address or e-mail above. Please include your name, address and tag number. The first replacement tag is free of charge and subsequent replacement tags are $10 each.  

Where is my renewal sticker?

In order to be environmentally conscious and efficient, By-law & Regulatory Services will no longer be mailing stickers to affix to your pet’s tag. By-law Officers are equipped with computers in the field, replacing the need to verify registration by way of a sticker on the registration tag.

Lost and found pets

What should I do if I've lost my cat/dog?

As soon as you notice that your cat or dog is missing, immediately check around your home and neighbourhood. Ask friends and neighbours if they have seen your pet and if so, when and where. If your pet is not found after your initial search, contact the City of Ottawa at 3-1-1 or the Ottawa Humane Society at 613-725-9998 to file a lost pet report. Be prepared to provide a description of your pet, a registration tag number, and a microchip number, if applicable.

Visit the local animal shelter in person and bring a colour photograph of your pet. The local shelter is at the Ottawa Humane Society located at 245 West Hunt Club Road, Nepean. If your pet is not wearing a tag or does not have microchip identification, only you can visibly identify your missing pet. Make sure you also check your local veterinary clinics as, often, residents who find a lost pet, take it to the nearest animal hospital.

Place notices, preferably with a photograph of your missing pet, at local stores and animal hospitals. Place your own advertisements in the lost and found sections of the local newspapers and ask the local radio and cable stations if they will mention your lost pet. Don't give up. Sometimes a lost cat or dog will turn up months later.

I have found a lost cat/dog. What should I do?

If you have found a lost cat/dog and it is wearing a City of Ottawa registration tag, contact the City at 3-1-1. By-law Services staff are available to check our database, to locate the registered owner, during the following hours of operation:

May long weekend to Labour Day:
7 days/week - 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Other times of year:

Sunday to Thursday – 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Friday and Saturday - 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.

If you have found a cat/dog that is not wearing a City of Ottawa tag, please take it to the Ottawa Humane Society (613-725-3166 – call first for hours of operation) or call 3-1-1 if you require assistance.  The pet will be scanned for a microchip, which may provide information on the registered owner and can be checked against lost animal reports.

An animal was hit by a car and is lying on the sidewalk. Who do I call?

If you come across an animal that has been hit by a car, contact the City of Ottawa at 3-1-1.

New Dog Owners Liability Act (plus Pit Bull Ban)

Pit Bulls and the Dog Owners Liability Act (DOLA)

In 2005, the Province of Ontario amended the Dog Owners' Liability Act (DOLA) to include broad powers to deal with dangerous dogs in general, as well as a ban on new pit bulls and restrictions on existing pit bulls.

The amendments prohibit anyone from owning, breeding, transferring, importing, fighting or abandoning pit bulls in Ontario. The definition of a pit bull under the Act includes: pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, American pit bull terrier or a dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to any of the aforementioned dogs.

Pit Bulls owned prior to August 29, 2005 or born within 90 days of August 29, 2005 were “grandfathered” and permitted to remain in Ontario provided that the owner can prove that the pit bull was in Ontario prior to, and pit bull owners must also comply with all other regulations under the Dog Owners' Liability Act.

City of Ottawa

The City of Ottawa does not enforce the provincial ban on pit bulls. Within the City, the Animal Care and Control By-law (By-law 2003-77) is the primary tool to govern dogs of all breeds. Pet owners should be aware of their responsibilities under this by-law and must register their animals accordingly. This includes all types of pit bull or pit bull mixes.

Pet registration and licensing provides a means by which any pet can be identified and returned home safely if it becomes lost.

Dog Attacks

Restricted pit bulls must be leashed and muzzled in public, and spayed or neutered. The onus of proof that a dog is not a pit bull, or that it is a restricted or "grandfathered" pit bull, will lie with the owner of the dog.

Charges can be brought against any dog owner whose dog has bitten or attacked or behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals or where the dog owner did not exercise reasonable precautions to prevent a dog from doing any of the aforementioned.

If a pit bull owner is found to have contravened a provision of the Dog Owners' Liability Act or their dog has bitten, attacked or posed a menace to public safety, a mandatory destruction order will be issued by the Court.


Penalties under the Dog Owners' Liability Act include:

  • $10,000 fine and or six months in jail
  • $60,000 fine for corporations
  • Restitution orders requiring convicted persons to make compensation to the victims.