The City of Winnipeg’s updated pet bylaw is now in effect, making it illegal to leave dogs unattended in the car or chained outside for too long among other things.

City council updated the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw in June 2022 with new requirements in several categories. It covers weather safety, wildlife, breeding, dog daycares, and spaying/neutering.

“The recent bylaw review gave us an opportunity to engage pet owners, businesses, and animal welfare organizations to understand how we can modernize these regulations to improve the health and safety of pets and communities,” said Leland Gordon, the city’s general manager of Animal Services.

Anyone who chooses not to have their pet fixed must maintain active veterinary care, and have a history of responsible pet ownership. Dog and cat breeders must now have a breeder permit and follow the requirements therein. Breeding animals are limited to one litter per year, with no more than four litters over their life.

Dog daycares, which have largely been unregulated up to this point, must now have separate play areas for small and large dogs and maintain minimum size and staffing requirements. The bylaw also outlines health, safety, and cleanliness standards for these businesses.

Dogs are now prohibited from being chained or tied up outside for extended periods of time, and supervision is required when dogs are outside. It is now illegal to leave pets unattended in vehicles when it’s 22 C or warmer or -10 C or colder (this doesn’t apply to running vehicles with working air conditioning or heating systems). You also cannot ride a bike with your dog in high temperatures in order to prevent heat exhaustion and burnt paw pads.

Body hold or glue traps are now illegal in the city of Winnipeg, as is the use of rodenticides by anyone other than licensed exterminators. Feeding wildlife in the city (other than birds) is also not allowed under the new bylaw.