Animal Codes of Practice

Icon of a book

More about Animal Codes of Practice

Codes of Practice are developed by industry and veterinary associations in order to raise the standards of animal care. These standards are recommended (not required) practices to achieve a high standard of animal welfare.

Codes of Practice for the Care of Dogs and Cats

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has developed voluntary Kennel Codes of Practice to provide guidelines and standards of care for dogs and cats. These Codes of Practice are mainly developed for dog and cat breeding and boarding kennels or establishments. However, the Codes provide practices that can also apply to dog or cat owners in any setting. They are based on application of the Five Freedoms.

For more information about dogs, check out the Code of Practice for Dogs.

Since the Code of Practice was developed several years ago, there have been some advances to our understanding of dogs that are important to note:

  • The sensitive period for puppies in which exposure to stimuli is most important is from 3-14 weeks of age.
  • The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has updated their position on tail docking and ear cropping. Although the practise is not banned in Canada by law, it is discouraged and many provincial veterinary medical associations have banned their licensed members from performing these procedures.

For more information about cats, check out the Code of Practice for Cats.

An important update to the care of cats in Canada is that declawing is a banned practice in most provinces.

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies created a voluntary code of practice for the care of cats and dogs in animal shelters. This document was published in 2013 as a result of collaboration with shelters and shelter veterinarians across Canada. These standards cover everything from record keeping, facility design, health care, behavioural well being, spay and neutering, and euthanasia. 

You can download and read a copy of the Canadian Standards of Care in Animal Shelters.

Are you sure you want to log out?