Answers to All Your Questions About Service Dogs in Ontario [2023]

Table of contents

Do you have questions about Ontario's Service Dog Program? There are roughly 2 In Ontario alone, 6 million people are disabled. That's equivalent to nearly 25% of Ontarians. As an aid to their handicap, some people rely on service dogs.

Because of its potential to lend critical assistance with regular tasks and life, this is of paramount importance. Additionally, it can allow people with disabilities to take part in society in a more secure and independent manner.

This comprehensive guide explores the role of service dogs in Ontario from several angles. To whom this manual may be of use:

  • A homeowner or tenant
  • Employer
  • Employee
  • Owner of a Company
  • Related person
  • Citizen or resident
  • A potential recipient of a service dog
  • A curious observer who wants to know more

This guide will help you learn all about service dogs in Ontario, including what they do, where they're allowed, questions you can ask the handler, whether the dog needs to be certified or registered, policies for public buildings and housing, and much more. Let's get started, or you can check out the Service Dog Organizations in Ontario [Directory] I wrote. Service Dogs Ontario @katelynburelleOpens in a new tab.Everest, the Multitasking Service Dog @katelynburelle

Ontario's Service Dogs
Service dog certification Ontario Portuguese service dog Balu

Introduction to Ontario's Service Dog Legislation

The following statutes afford protection to people with disabilities in Ontario: service dog laws Ontario @the_working_willowOpens in a new tab.Twitter handle for service dog "Willow"

In Ontario, what qualifies as a service animal?

Customer Service Standard of the AODA,Opens in a new tab.The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) defines a service animal as one that meets the following criteria:

  1. Visible indicators, such as a harness or vest, can be used to...
  2. Service animal users must present documentation (such as a letter) from a licensed medical professional stating that their service animal's presence is necessary due to a disability.
  • A Service Dog is trained to assist an individual with a disability.
  • The dog aids in overcoming some of the impairment's practical restrictions.
  • Access for service dogs and their handlers in public spaces
  • In most public places, service animals are welcome, including movie theaters, restaurants, doctors' offices, hotels, and government buildings.
Choosing the Right Breed of Service Dog
Service Dog in training Ontario in a new tab.Bishop, the Service Dog in Training

Animals Used as Service Dogs in Ontario

In accordance with the Customer Service Standard, any kind of animal may be used as a service animal. service dog training Ontario @lucytheservicesibeOpens in a new tab.Lucy the Service Ibe from Kylie's "Lucy on Duty"

Certification for Ontario Service Dogs

There is currently no system in place in Ontario for certifying or testing Service Dogs. Canadian Canine Good Citizen testOpens in a new tab.The Canadian Canine Good Citizen test is highly recommended to make sure a dog is well-liked in their community.

The Canadian Canine Good Citizen Test is a useful tool for ensuring that dogs have been socialized and trained to behave properly at home, in public, and around other dogs and people.

  • Canadian Canine Good Citizen Opens in a new tab.An Approved Canine Citizen in Canada
service dog laws in Ontario Canada @luna_exploregonOpens in a new tab.To whomever took this picture, thank you!

Registration for Ontario Service Dogs

There is no requirement in Ontario for the registration of service dogs, just as there is in the United States. This is required by the AODA and the Human Rights Code of Ontario. Neither a license nor proof of registration is required for a service animal. Those who rely on service dogs may, however, be asked to show proof of their status. A simple letter or prescription from a doctor stating that the animal is required due to a medical condition.

The required paperwork must either:

  • Evidence from a certified medical expert
  • A guide dog user's identification card issued by the Ministry of the Attorney General in Ontario.

Like the rest of the world, there is no such thing as a legitimate "registration" for service animals. You should be wary of websites that prey on users' lack of computer literacy for financial gain. To learn more about why registrations are not required for genuine service dog teams, please read my article Which Service Dog Registry is Legitimate.

Ontario Service Dogs - Service Animal Registration in Ontario

You are not

how to get a service dog in ontario @lucytheservicesibeOpens in a new tab.@lucytheservicesibe Where I Go, You Go by Kylie Minogue

Just who is a Licensed Health Care Provider, Anyway?

(4) An animal is considered a service animal for the purposes of this Part if,

(a) visual indicators, such as a vest or harness, make it clear that the animal is being used by the person for reasons related to the person's disability; or

(b) the individual provides verification from one of the following licensed medical professionals that they need the animal due to their disability:

Ontario Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Opens in a new tab.The Act to Improve Access for Persons with Disabilities in Ontario

Any practitioner who holds membership in the following academies is considered to be a regulated health professional:

To rephrase...

  • One who specializes in hearing and speech disorders
  • Chiropractor
  • Nurse
  • Occupational therapists
  • Optometrist
  • Physician
  • Surgeon
  • Physiotherapist
  • Psychologist
  • Psychotherapist
  • Counselor, or Psychiatrist,
Possibilities and Drawbacks of Having a Service Dog

Make sure JavaScript is turned on

Positive and Negative Aspects of Having a Service Dog
Multipurpose Service Dog Ontario Canada German Shepherd @eri_servicedogOpens in a new tab."Eri," a versatile service dog, can do it all.

Medical documentation of your service animal's necessity may be required.

A simple letter from your doctor may be all that's required if you decide that getting a service animal is the right choice for you. Your medical recommendation letter could also come from another doctor besides the ones we listed above.

The sole purpose of this letter is to express your need for a service dog. Your entire life story is not necessary, nor are any other specifics. Service Dogs Amusement Parks Ontario @dog.human.duoOpens in a new tab."Kodiak," the service dog, @dog.human.duo

Who Can Get an Ontario Service Dog?

In Ontario, a service dog is available to anyone who needs one due to a disability.

Trained service dogs are able to:

  • Assisting with routine and other responsibilities
  • Enhance people's well-being and ensure their security.
  • Make available a variety of options
service dog for depression and anxiety Ontario Portuguese service dog Balu

Ontario Disability Types for which Dogs Can Help

Among the many possible causes of disability are:

  • Whether or not it is visible
  • Existing from infancy
  • Eventually evolved
  • Accidentally induced
Service Dogs can help people with a number of different disabilities Ontario Invisible and visible impairments alike benefit from the assistance of service dogs. ontario Canada service dog laws @working.collie.remmiOpens in a new tab."Remmi" the Working Collie @working.collie.remmi

Some examples of impairments

  • Having trouble seeing or total blindness
  • Problems with hearing or total deafness
  • Problems Communicating
  • Impairments to one's physical capabilities (such as weak muscles, a lack of sensation, or impaired balance and/or coordination)
  • Brain damage
  • Conditions of the mind like PTSD and others
  • Seizure disorders, such as epilepsy
  • Mental retardation
  • Impairments in learning
  • Disabilities in development
  • Problems with one's mental health
Service animals Ontario @snow_leopard_81Opens in a new tab.Snow Leopard, Blue Heeler, @snow_leopard_81

Service Dog Duties, as an Illustration

Dogs trained as service animals can assist people in a wide range of ways. Some of the amazing things these creatures can do to aid humankind include:

Functions of Service Dogs in Ontario:

  • Bringing someone out of a nightmare (such as PTSD)
  • Diabetic alerting, high/low blood pressure alerting, etc.
  • Wheelchair pulling
  • Pulling and pushing on drawers and cupboards
  • Toting a load of groceries
  • Using a bank or credit card to make a purchase
  • For those with PTSD, entering a room requires a thorough search for potential danger.
  • Washing clothes
  • Setting alarms to remind patients to take their medication
  • Bringing a person water and medication (during a panic attack, for instance)
  • Helping the handler hear important sounds (the doorbell, the fire alarm, the telephone ringing, the handler's name).
  • Helping a person who is blind or has low vision cross a busy street.
  • Deep Pressure Therapy (DPT) is a method in which a service dog applies pressure to a person in order to ease them out of their heightened state of "fight or flight."
  • Helping the caretaker break harmful routines (autism, PTSD).
  • Keeping someone safe who is having a seizure, or helping them after the fact
  • The Giant List of Service Dog Tasks (K9 Total Focus) Opens in a new tab.K9 Total Focus: An Enormous Checklist for Working Dog Owners
Ontario service dog registration in a new tab.Bishop, the Future Service Dog

Where To Find A Service Dog In Ontario

Where can you obtain a service dog if you decide you need one? Multiple choices and paths are available.

  • You could get a dog (or a puppy) from a shelter and train it to be a service animal for yourself (this process can take up to two years).
  • One alternative is to get a dog from a shelter and train him or her yourself with the help of a professional.
  • Alternatively, you could consider acquiring a service dog from a reputable organization. It's possible that you or someone you know could benefit from a non-profit or charity that has a lengthy waiting list and/or application process. To see the expanding list of Ontario service dog organizations, please read my article.
German Shepherd service dog Ontario @lucytheservicesibeOpens in a new tab.Where I go, you go: Service Dog in Training @lucytheservicesibe is Kylie's motto.

Training for Service Dogs in Ontario

  • It is important to note that ADI only accepts applications for membership and accreditation from preexisting non-profit or charitable programs.
  • You can get a service dog that is both ethical and high-quality from a wide variety of other sources.  

In addition to public agencies, many non-profits and for-profits provide service dog training. You could also get assistance in training your own Psychiatric service dogs Ontario in a new tab.Therapy Dog "Sarge" ( for Mental Health

The dog training industry suffers from a lack of oversight.

The dog training industry is currently highly unregulated, so proceed with caution. This holds true in most cases, and in Ontario, it also applies to service animals.

Therefore, it is crucial to prepare thoroughly. Make sure you check their background and credentials. Numerous groups provide opportunities for professionals to join as members. This guarantees adherence to strict norms and ethical guidelines.

Professional Memberships for Service Dogs in Ontario are available here.

Service dog in training German Shepherd Ontario. Canada @lucytheservicesibeOpens in a new tab.Where I go, you go service dog in training @lucytheservicesibe is named after Kylie Minogue's song.

Association of Qualified Dog Trainers in Canada

Canadian Association of Professional Dog TrainersOpens in a new tab.If you live in Canada and need information or assistance training a service dog, the Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers is a fantastic place to start.

You can: Medical alert service dog Poodle @cricket_n_saraphenaOpens in a new tab.Cricket and Saraphena, Service Dogs for the Medically Impaired

Ontario's Guide to Obtaining a Service Dog for Depressive and Anxious Individuals

In Ontario, there are a few different routes you can take to acquire a service dog for mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Feel free to read my piece I wrote on training a service dog to help with anxiety and other psychological challenges.

  1. Do it yourself dog training
  2. Use expert guidance when dog-training.
  3. Find a group that trains service dogs and see if they can help you out (you might have to raise money or pay for something else).
  4. All of the above, or none of them
how to register a service dog in Ontario “Kylie’s Where I Go, You Go” & “Kylie’s Lucy On Duty” @lucytheservicesibeOpens in a new tab.

A psychiatric service dog is a service dog specifically trained to assist people with mental health issues. If you're interested in learning more, you can read my articles Psychiatric Service Dog Tasks - 17 Examples or Psychiatric Service Dog Training. Here are a few examples of such responsibilities:

  • Starting the day or waking someone up from a bad dream
  • Touching and feeling
  • Helping people communicate with one another
  • Eliminating anxiety when exposed to large groups of people
  • Acting as a barrier to ease someone into a large group of people
  • Facilitating a person's ability to relax following an outburst
  • Helping someone who is anxious or fearful feel more secure
  • Restoring someone to the here-and-now
  • Facilitating the development of a secure inner world
  • Delivering water and medicine to those who cannot
  • Helping Out
  • Helping with equilibrium
  • Continually prompting a patient to take their medication.
  • Disrupting the flow of excessive emotion
service dog registration Ontario @eri_servicedogOpens in a new tab."Eri," a versatile service dog, tweets as "@eri_servicedog."

Ontario Dogs for the Mentally Ill

It should go without saying that acquiring or training a service dog is no picnic. It will probably not be a quick process whether you train the dog yourself, hire a trainer to assist you, or acquire a dog from an organization. The same holds true if you require a service dog for mental health reasons. Let's talk about the process of acquiring an Ontario psychiatric service dog. See also: my piece on DPT (Deep Pressure Therapy) service dogs for the mentally ill.

Where can I go in Ontario to get a service dog for mental illness?

You can get a psychiatric service dog in a few different ways: by training your own dog, by hiring someone to help you train your dog, or by acquiring one from a private business or a charity. The first step is to schedule an appointment with your doctor to obtain a letter of recommendation. You can also seek help from another qualified medical expert, as described above.

This is something that any service dog organization you apply to will want to see when you submit your application. This letter is also required if you plan on taking your service dog on a plane with you. Ontario service dog in a new, "Sarge," Psychiatric Service Dog

In Ontario, a psychiatric service dog can be obtained through a few different channels:

  • Whether you choose to train your dog on your own or seek professional or group assistance,
  • Spending a lot of money on a private organization's psychiatric service dog program
  • Buying the dog from a charity or other non-profit institution Even though these groups typically offer free, fully trained service dogs to those in need, waiting lists can be extremely lengthy (in some cases exceeding two years).
  • Whether a for-profit or non-profit organization is doing the training, the price tag for a single service dog is at least $20,000. Funding for nonprofits comes primarily from contributions and sponsorships.

Service Dog Legislation in Ontario: Available Online

In Ontario, service animals are legally permitted in all public areas of businesses. Customers with disabilities should be allowed to bring their service animals with them at all times.

Only in restricted areas (such as a hospital operating room) are service animals not permitted.

Taxis, grocery stores, and shopping malls are all examples of public places where service animals should be allowed to accompany their handlers if there is no law prohibiting the presence of such animals at such establishments.

But if a company operates in a region where service animals are prohibited by law, it must make alternative arrangements to ensure that people who rely on them can still gain access to its services. Goldendoodle Autism Service Dog @bri.and.piperOpens in a new tab."Piper," a goldendoodle, is a service dog for people with autism.

Can You Demand ID for an Ontario Service Dog?

In Ontario, places that serve the public may request proof that a customer has a service dog. A letter or prescription from one of the aforementioned medical professionals is acceptable. False service animals are unfortunately a common occurrence, creating obstacles for genuine service dog teams.

service dog with friends Ontario @the_working_willowOpens in a new tab."Willow" the Service Dog and Her Pals at @the_working_willow

Access privileges for service animals in Ontario: restrictions and exemptions

OADAOpens in a new tab.Businesses and service providers in Ontario are required to allow service animals in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (OADA). With a few food-specific exceptions, such as some clauses in food manufacturers'

An individual who requires the assistance of a service animal may want or need to visit a public place that does not welcome service animals or service dogs under Ontario law. Medical alert service dog Ontario Goldendoodle @thatlilbearkodaOpens in a new tab."Koda," a Goldendoodle, is a service dog that can alert you to medical emergencies.

Providers still have an obligation to provide suitable alternatives in such cases. This is done to guarantee that the usual level of service is still available to the customer at their usual location.

There are a few paths open to providers. The customer could be served in an area where the animal has free access.

Providers may also accommodate customers whose pets are not welcome at their establishments. In such a case, the service animal might have to find a new place to wait.

Employers are required by law to accommodate service animals. Because if they don't, they're obstructing justice. There may be repercussions

Businesses and service providers who make reasonable accommodations for customers with service animals demonstrate their dedication to serving people of all abilities. service animals are not pets Ontario Dogs that work as service animals are not considered pets.

A Definition of a Therapy Dog

A therapy dog is typically a pet that has met and interacted with many people in a variety of settings, including classrooms, nursing homes, and hospitals.

These dogs may or may not have received training, but regardless, they are not tailored to assist anyone with a particular disability. In this respect, service dogs and therapy dogs differ significantly. What is a Therapy Dog? Ontario, Canada A therapy dog is typically a family pet that takes great pleasure in making numerous visits to people of all ages and backgrounds in order to spread happiness and ease anxiety. Therapy Dog in Canada @eddieandboomerOpens in a new tab.@eddieandboomer, Eddie the therapy dog, and Boomer.

People in a variety of settings benefit from the presence of therapy dogs because their owners take them there.

The presence of a friendly, calm animal can have a calming effect on people who are confined in stressful environments like hospitals, schools, and other institutions. therapy dog Ontario @eddieandboomerOpens in a new tab.@eddieandboomer, Eddie the Therapy Dog

Although therapy dogs are valuable, they are not afforded the same public access privileges as service dogs.

  • Training a Therapy Dog, The Ultimate GuideOpens in a new tab.The Complete Guide to Educating a Therapy Dog
Poodle service dog @cricket_n_saraphenaOpens in a new tab.Rescue Dog for the Medical Community: @cricket_n_saraphena

Just What Is a Companion Animal?

Dogs are popular pets because their mere presence can improve the lives of their owners. In addition, it must abide by all local ordinances and policies regarding pets.

Dogs that have not been trained to assist a specific disabled person are not considered service animals.   Border Collie Service Dog @celestialbordercolliesOpens in a new tab.Celestial Border Collies / Instagram

Support Animals in Ontario

Mini Service Horse Service Animal in a new tab.The Miniature Service Horse, "Flirty" [USA]

Emotional support animals are not recognized in Ontario.

The Ontario government does not support emotional support animals. The province of Ontario does not regulate ESAs and does not provide ESAs with preferential housing access.

In the U S Emotional support animals are allowed into private homes but not in public spaces.

Landlords in Ontario cannot forbid tenants from owning pets if the animals are used as emotional support animals. Residential Tenancies ActOpens in a new tab.Section 14 of the Residential Tenancies Act states the following. PTSD Service Dog Ontario Canada Dogs trained to assist the disabled can be of any size or breed. @vos_ptsd_servicedogOpens in a new tab.Thanks to @vos_ptsd_servicedog for the photo!

Animal Care Costs for Emotional Support Animals

Moreover, no pet fees may be imposed by landlords. The presence of a pet is not grounds for eviction. You are restricted in the types of pets you can keep.

Therefore, tenants who rely on emotional support animals shouldn't have any trouble finding a place to live that allows pets. service dog in training Ontario in a new tab.Bishop, the Service Dog-in-Training Twitter Handle What is an emotional support animal? Ontario does not recognize emotional support animals. Unlike typical service animals, they are not "task-trained." They might not even have any training.

Service Dogs in Ontario: Frequently Asked Questions

In Ontario, is documentation of a service dog's existence required?

In Ontario, a person who has a service dog may be asked to provide documentation from a medical professional to verify the dog's status as a service dog. For a complete list of approved experts, see above.

How much does it cost to train a service dog?

Nobody ever claimed that a dog, much less a service dog, would be simple or inexpensive to train. To train a service dog to its full potential can cost tens of thousands of dollars (up to fifty thousand is possible) and take months, if not years.

Learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of getting a service dog by reading my article, or get started in the right direction by reading about how to choose the best service dog breed for your lifestyle and needs.

A service dog can be obtained from a group that matches people in need with dogs for free or a nominal fee. Service Dog Organizations in Ontario and the rest of Canada can be found in my respective directories, which can be accessed via the following links: a href="MY_REDIRECT_PREFIX" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Service Dog Organizations in Ontario and a href="https://theservice They require nutrition, medical attention from a veterinarian, various supplies, possibly even insurance, and more.

Teaching a Dog to Help People Who Need Emotional Support

How do dogs learn to help people who are experiencing emotional distress? The short answer is no; In Ontario, service dogs for the emotionally disabled are not recognized. In the province of Ontario, landlords are required to accept all pets.

Unlike service animals, ESAs are not typically trained to perform specific tasks. This means that although ESAs may be trained in basic dog obedience, they are not required to perform any additional tasks or services for their disabled handlers.

How to Register Your Dog as an Ontario Service Dog

The question of how to obtain one's own service dog is a common one. There are some details to keep in mind.

It takes a special breed of dog to make a good service dog. You'll have more time with your dog after training is complete if you begin when it's young. It's important to remember that dogs have limited lifespans and can't work indefinitely.

There are also dogs that aren't suited to working and those that are. It's possible that the dog you have now isn't the best "prospect" for a service dog. Start with a puppy and a dog trainer or look for a group that can assist you. Obtaining a reliable service dog can be accomplished in a variety of ways.

Can You Get an Ontario Service Dog Permit?

There may be official service dog licenses in some states, provinces, or municipalities, but Ontario is not one of them. Unless your municipality has a law requiring all dogs to be licensed, you do not need to register or certify your service dog in Ontario.

To enter most public establishments, people who rely on service dogs must either have their dogs wear identification vests or present a letter or prescription from a doctor justifying the need for the dog's use.

Do Ontario Restaurants Allow Service Dogs?

With a few exceptions (operating rooms and other sterile environments, for example), service dogs are welcome to accompany their handlers virtually everywhere the general public is allowed to go. Disabled people must not be subject to workplace bias.

Who Can Get an Ontario Service Dog?

In Ontario, a service dog is available to anyone who needs one due to a disability.

Open Doors for Ontarians

Accessibility Ontario.Opens in a new tab.Accessibility Ontario is a great resource for learning more. in a new tab.Click here:
Write to us at [email protected].
Call us at: 1 (416) 849-8276
Accessible TTY Line: 1-800-268-7095 Toll-Free: 1-866-515-2025 in a new tab.On Twitter: @ONAccessibility in a new tab.Like us on Facebook: ONAccessibility
Applying for Gun Licensing in Ontario: A Guide by GTA Guns and Gear
Applying for Gun Licensing in Ontario: A Guide by GTA Guns and Gear

Are you interested in purchasing firearms in Ontario? In Canada, firearms can be classified into three categories:Non-restricted (e.g.: most modern hunting firearms, including rifles and shotguns)Restricted (e.g.: primarily handguns)ProhibitedTo legally obtain non-restricted firearms and ammunition in

Author: Bramy Bones Author: Bramy Bones
Posted: 2023-08-03 00:57:16
The Conclusion of the Esso Extra Rewards Program
The Conclusion of the Esso Extra Rewards Program

The following regulations will take effect on January 1st, 2021 for existing members of the Esso Extra program who joined before October 6th, 2020. For new members who joined on or after October 6th, 2020, these rules will be effective immediately.The regulations outlined below pertain to the Esso

Author: Bramy Bones Author: Bramy Bones
Posted: 2023-08-03 00:25:16
Dialing between Europe and the Rest of the World
Dialing between Europe and the Rest of the World

To make a call from a phone in Italy, simply dial 001 followed by your desired number. Many Americans feel apprehensive about dialing European phone numbers, but there's no need to worry. With the help of these guidelines and a comprehensive list of calling codes for Europe, the process becomes quite

Author: Bramy Bones Author: Bramy Bones
Posted: 2023-08-03 00:22:51
Paying FedEx Duties Online: A Guide for Canadian Residents in 2023
Paying FedEx Duties Online: A Guide for Canadian Residents in 2023

If you have ordered an item from another country, you may have to pay shipping duties on your package. These duties are specific taxes and fees that are applied to your package by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and are usually paid through the shipping company. However, you might be wondering

Author: Bramy Bones Author: Bramy Bones
Posted: 2023-08-03 00:22:49
Showing page 1 of 46

Explore useful tips about everything around you and together improve your life with! - since 2022

Gen in 0.0731 secs