A major update for standards around dogs kept outdoors in Ontario is currently underway. The proposed update takes aim at providing greater clarity and broader scope for how dogs should be kept outside and what their care must entail.
The previous standards for dogs kept outdoors were lacking and left considerable room for interpretation that would not be in the dog's best interest.
The update is a welcome change and the enhanced standards, if properly enforced, stand to drastically improve the welfare of dogs throughout the province.
The proposed update is substantial, including specific guidance around shelter requirements, access to food and water, tethering, grooming, and maintaining the wellbeing of sick and injured dogs. An excellent example of the quality of the proposed specificities is their standard for what types of collars are appropriate for a dog kept outdoors, noting that choke, pinch and prong collars must not be used.
One of the more nuanced, yet meaningful changes proposed is adjusting which dogs the standards apply to from dogs that "live primarily outdoors" to dogs that "are kept outdoors." The OHS also had the chance to review the update and provide feedback for the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
If the update is approved, it is expected to come into force on July 1, 2022.
The full details of the update are available online. Reach out to the Ministry of the Solicitor General to show your support for these enhanced standards.