dog bite

What to Understand Regarding Ontario Dog Owner Liability

Pet ownership comes with a great deal of responsibility. Not only do dog owners need to provide their pets with food, shelter, and love, but they also need to make sure their dog does not injure anyone. In Ontario, dog owners are liable for any damage or injuries their dog may cause. 

If your pet bites someone or another animal, you could be held responsible and may be required to pay damages. At the same time, if you get bitten by a pet, you may be able to file a claim in court. Here’s some additional information to understand regarding dog owner liability in Ontario:

What Is Dog Owner Liability in Ontario?

Under the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, dog owners are strictly liable for any damages or injuries their dog causes, regardless if the owner was aware of the dog’s aggression or not. This means that if the dog hasn’t shown any signs of aggression before, the owner may be held liable if the dog bites and injures another person or pet.

What Should You Do When Bitten by a Dog?

If you’re bitten by a pet, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. After tending to and taking care of your injuries, you should then contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.

A personal injury lawyer can surely assess your case and figure out whether or not you have a valid claim against the dog’s owner. With a valid claim, the lawyer will then help you file a lawsuit and represent you in court.

How Are Dog Bite Claims Handled in Court?

Dog bite cases are typically handled in civil court. In order to win your case, it must be proven that the dog’s owner was negligent in some way and that there was damage caused. If you win the case, you may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and more.

Most home insurance policies of the dog owner cover claims and losses arising as a result of dog bites and attacks even if the incident did not occur on your property.  

However, reduced damages can occur if you were liable in some way for the attack, such as provoking the dog. 

What Happens to Dogs Who Bite Others?

The consequences for dogs that bite others vary depending on the severity of the attack and the laws in the province where the attack occurred. In Ontario, the dog’s owner may be fined or are subject to keeping their pets on their property only. There may be cases where a dog may be put down for serious attacks or a history of aggression.


It is important for pet parents to be aware of the dog owner liability laws in their province or territory. Take precautions to prevent your dog from injuring others and connect with a legal professional. 

Looking for a personal injury lawyer in Niagara Falls? Parlatore Law is a personal injury law firm that you can consult regarding dog owner liability. We serve the following areas: Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Welland, Fort Erie, Thorold, Port Colborne, Fonthill, Pelham, Grimsby, Stoney Creek, and Hamilton. Get in touch with us today!