Through the Dog-Friendly Business Program, the OHS works with local businesses to build a more humane and compassionate community.
While the OHS welcomes all local businesses to become dog-friendly and join the program, there are restrictions in legislation that prevent some businesses from allowing dogs on their premises.
Particularly Ontario’s regulations for food premises are a barrier for businesses that want to welcome dogs: “Every room where food is prepared, processed, packaged, served, transported, manufactured, handled, sold, offered for sale or displayed shall be kept free from live birds or animals.”
However, these restrictions were loosened in early 2020 by the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, allowing dogs to accompany their owners on outdoor patios and in places that sell pre-packaged food. As a result, more businesses are eligible to join the OHS Dog-Friendly Business Program and welcome friendly dogs into their business, but there is still more to be done.
Under current legislation, breweries are unable to allow dogs into their business, but many breweries in Ottawa have expressed a desire to join the Dog-Friendly Business Program.
Pets are a part of a healthy family and a part of a healthy community. Allowing owners to bring their dogs to more places brings pets closer to their owners and their community, and helps build a more humane and compassionate community for all.
You can help build a more dog-friendly community, reach out to your MPP about reducing the restrictions on what businesses can welcome dogs and visit the OHS website to learn more about joining the OHS Dog-Friendly Business Program and for a list of local, dog-friendly businesses.