For many millennia, wherever humans have gone, pets have walked alongside them like loyal friends. The relationship between humans and pets is rooted deep in history. Evidence suggests that humans started keeping pets in Palaeolithic times (roughly 2.5 million years ago to 10,000 B.C.) This special bond has been ever since strengthened and nourished with love, care, and empathy. Today, there are over 28 million pets in Canada alone. This adores our ever-increasing lean towards nature and our will to live more closely with it. Today, humankind is looking to adopt a pet more than ever. And most possibly, you have come here because you, too, are looking to adopt a pet in Toronto or Canada. Pet adoption in Toronto is easy, but you must take care of a few things.

Pet Adoption in Canada

Pet Adoption in Canada

Adopting a pet is preferred over buying one. The number of pets lying in shelters with their eyes open, looking for a new home, has increased in the past few years. But alongside that, the number of people preferring adoption has also grown. With this, precautions must be taken, rules must be met, and guidelines must be followed.

Considerations Before Adopting a Pet

Before you choose to adopt a pet to give a new home to a stray or about-to-be stray, you must be sure of a few things on your end. The process is identical whether you want to adopt a dog or a cat. Just like every human has a different nature and requires the right person to make a family with, dogs are different too. Dogs are emotionally intelligent and sometimes sense more than we humans do. Before you look for pet adoption in Toronto, be sure of the sort of pet you want. The right dog or cat must be met with the right home- ignorance towards this can lead to feelings of hatred towards pet adoption in Toronto.

Here is a small checklist to go through before you adopt a pet:

    • If you already have a pet at home, be sure of how they might react to seeing a new pet enter your home.
    • Do you have enough time to accompany your adopted pet? Pets feel as much as we humans do. They fall into a sense of loneliness and depression when not played with often.
    • If you have a neighbour or a roommate, talk to them before you bring in and surprise them.
    • Do you get allergic when coming into contact with animals?
    • What sort of pet do you look for? Be assured if you want a calm dog or a super-playful one.
    • Is there a specific breed you are looking for? Try online pet finders to help you find the perfect breed for you based on hair, friendliness, energy levels, maintenance, affection needs, exercise requirements, etc.
    • Are you ready to commit yourself to your pet? If you are looking for a pet to accompany you for a few years, try bringing in an older pet.
    • Also, know if you are financially strong enough to support a pet. pet adoption in Toronto during a financial crunch can make the owner and pet morose.
    • Ensure that your pet is properly vaccinated and dewormed.

Once you’ve gone through this vital checklist, it is time for adoption. One thing you must be aware of is that ‘adoption’ is different from ‘buying’. When you opt to buy, you buy a pet from a breeder, in ‘adoption’ you adopt a dog from a shelter, rescue centre, or street. To adopt a pet, you have two options: adopting a stray dog; or a breed from a shelter or rescue house. In both cases, you must look for the relevant authority.

What You Can Bring with You When You Adopt and Fees

What You Can Bring with You When You Adopt and Fees

Every country or state has its own rules regarding pet adoption. If you live in any other country, make sure you check the relevant laws before adopting a pet. Pet adoption in Toronto requires you to do a few things. Living in Toronto, you need to pay a little fee when adopting a pet. This fee is required to cover the cost of these shelter houses and ensure the good care of these animals until their adoption.

The pet adoption fee in Canada differs based on the type of pet and the person or organisation taking care of these pets. The fee generally ranges anywhere between $5 to $500. Please note that this is an approximate figure and can vary depending on the circumstances.

What should you bring with you when you come to adopt a pet? Here is the list:

    • A valid identity proof (a driver’s licence or any proof having your present address on it.)
    • Cash or card to pay the adoption fee.

Why Register Your Animal?

If you live in Toronto, you must get your pet (dog or cat) licensed. The jurisdiction requires every pet owner to get their pet licensed. Furthermore, your pets must wear a tag. This licencing and tagging help in many cases, such as:

    • Pet tags help their owners get their pets back in case they are lost.
    • In case of an emergency, people can easily look at the tag and call you for the required help.
    • It legalises the bond between you and your pet. You may claim ownership if someone tries to steal your pet.

“You must get your pet licences renewed every year.”

Getting Ready for a New Pet in Your House

You are not just bringing an animal to your home; you are bringing a family member. Pets have high emotional intelligence. They feel and heal our emotional wounds. Taking good care of your pet is necessary. Ignoring this can lead to legal action being taken against you. Here is how you should prepare your home for your newly adopted pet.

    • Just as you are required to put deadly chemicals, solutions, pesticides, etc. in the case of a toddler, you are required to do it all in the case of pets. Pets, especially dogs, are inquisitive. They may unknowingly nibble on a bottle containing a hazardous substance.
    • Have a separate home for your pet, and gradually introduce it to other pets.
    • You might not want your dog to mess with your essentials. Keep your doors, cupboards, boxes, etc., closed.
    • Make sure you have all the necessities for your adopted pet at home. If you adopt a dog, the requirements are different from when you adopt a cat. Here is what to buy before you adopt a pet:
    • Essential food and food containers
    • Water bowls
    • A collar and a long leash
    • Pet tag with the phone number on it
    • A durable carrier or foldable crate
    • Nail clippers and an E-Collar (for required cases)
    • Odour neutralizer
    • Toys for their entertainment
    • Pet bed
    • First-aid supplies
    • Care products like combs, cleansers, etc.

Keeping these things ready in your home is a great way to ensure that you are ready to adopt a pet and give it a beautiful life.


Adoption of pets is a budget-friendly option if you want a pet. Although it is usually preferred, it comes with its own challenges. For a dog, you and your home are new. This may cause pets to have a hard time syncing with their new home. When adopting a dog or any pet, make sure they are trained well. Some pets may have gone through trauma and may have a hard time adapting to their new home. Have patience. And if things do not seem to be working out, some shelter houses also take the pets back. Remember to ask this question before you adopt your pet.

You May Also Read :

Guide To Pet Care in Winter Pet Care in Winter
All About Renting With Pets in Canada Renting With Pets in Canada

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to adopt a dog in Toronto?

Depending on the shelter and the type of pet, the cost may range anywhere from $5 to $500. Birds usually cost less than dogs or other large animals.

What is the easiest way to adopt a dog?

The easiest way to adopt a dog is to get in contact with a shelter near you. You may also get in touch with certain social media groups that share information about pet adoptions.

Are rescue cats free?

Pets require care at shelter houses. This care doesn't come for free. A pet adoption fee is used to cover these expenses. In rare cases, you may get rescue animals for free.

Are rescue dogs free?

Rescue dogs are not free because shelter houses bear the costs of taking good care of them. It includes food, vaccines, medicines, staff salary, etc.

Do you need a licence to adopt a cat or dog in Toronto?

Toronto requires every dog and cat owner to get their pet licenced and tagged with the owner's name and phone number. This licence must be renewed every year.