City of Brampton Logo

Feature Story

Paws for thought; reminders for Responsible Pet Ownership Month

BRAMPTON, ON (February 20, 2024) - Pet ownership is a rewarding experience with endless benefits, including companionship, social interaction, happiness and unconditional love. It also is an important responsibility to uphold. February is Responsible Pet Ownership Month and Brampton Animal Services is sharing tips and resources on continuing to be your pet's fur-ever best friend.

Tips for responsible pet owners 

Here are a few tips on how to be a good pet parent:

  • Keep dogs leashed, in fenced areas or tethered on your property. Under Animal Services By-law 201-2023​, dogs must be leashed when off-property and contained by an enclosure, fenced area or tether when on the owner's property, except in designated leash-free areas. It’s safer for you, your dog, and other people and pets.

  • ​Pick up after your dog. Dog waste can take up to 12 months to fully break down and can end up in stormwater systems and waterways when swept away by rainwater. It also poses a health risk to other dogs and people, especially children. To prevent spreading diseases and bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, stoop and scoop and have your pet checked regularly by a veterinarian.
  • License your dog or cat and make sure they have up-to-date identification tags. Brampton residents can purchase one-year or two-year dog and cat licences to help keep their pets safe. Residents who purchase a pet licence will also receive a “smart” pet tag per pet. Pet tags help ensure that if a pet gets lost, animal services can quickly reunite them with their family. 
  • Have your pet spayed or neutered. It prevents adding to pet overpopulation and has many health benefits for your pet, helping them live a longer, happier life. It’s never too late – talk to your veterinary team to learn more.
  • Provide your pets with basic standards of care. Types of care include:

  • food and water  
  • shelter 
  • medical attention and care  
  • space to naturally move or exercise  
  • sanitary conditions  
  • ventilation
  • physical safety and general welfare  
  • sunlight

Keeping your pet safe in the cold 
As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to keep your pets safe; this includes protecting them from the cold. Always remember: 
  • If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet.  
  • Don’t leave your pets in the car. Cars hold in cold air, which can result in your pet freezing.  
  • Check your hood, on top of the wheels and other confined areas of your car before driving. Animals such as cats may be hiding in these areas to find warmth.  
  • Wash and dry your pet’s paws and stomach to clean off ice, salt and chemicals. Check paws for signs of cracking. Chemicals such as antifreeze are highly dangerous for cats and dogs. 
  • Keep your dogs on a leash. Dogs can lose their scent in the snow and become lost.
  • Don’t shave your pet down to the skin in winter – fur provides warmth. 
  • The cold can result in frostbite, hypothermia, and death.  Avoid exposing pets to extremely cold conditions or for prolonged periods when the temperature is near or below zero degrees.    
  • Keep pets warm. Short-coated dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are especially vulnerable in the cold. Provide a cozy bed and blanket for them to snuggle in. 
  • If your pet is experiencing any unusual symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. 
How to adopt a pet 
Animal Services always has a variety of pets looking for homes. You may visit animals at the shelter during adoption viewing hours​ and ask staff about pet ownership responsibilities and the needs of a new pet. In addition, you can see adoptable pets online.

Interested in making a difference in your community?
Whether you walk a dog, socialize with our amazing cats, transport injured and domestic animals to a rehab centre or assist in fundraising events, they all contribute to your community and helping animals in care. You can make a difference in several ways:
  • Become a Brampton Animal Service Volunteer.
  • Become a foster parent. 
  • Donate to the food pantry or HOPE Fund.
Contacting Brampton Animal Services 
If in doubt, call Brampton Animal Services. Animal Services is always available to educate and inform, rescue, and respond to all inquiries about pets and wildlife in Brampton. They can be reached at 905.458.5800.  
Visit for more information and resources.


City of Brampton Media Relations