How to start a pet care business in Ontario

Table of contents

Getting started
Other resources


The pet care industry consists of businesses that provide products or services for pets and pet owners. If you are considering starting a doggy daycare, obedience training, pet grooming or other pet-related business, you will be part of this growing industry.

Other common types of pet care businesses include:

  • Pet sitting or dog walking services
  • Pet clean up service
  • Kennel/boarding services
  • Animal behavioural advice
  • Pet supply store

Getting started

Getting started

When you start a business there are several things to consider before you can sell your product or service. Most businesses in Ontario need to complete a minimum of three basic steps:

  • Find out what licences and regulations apply to your type of business
  • Choose a business structure and register or incorporate your business
  • Determine if you will need to collect and remit HST

Our Starting a business guide will give you more information on these steps and other basic requirements for starting a business in Ontario.

Read online:
Starting a business



Your business may need licences and permits from the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government.

In addition to the information you will find in this guide, you can use BizPaL to find licences and regulations that may affect your business.

Use online:
Permits and licences search

Some common licences, permits and regulations that may apply to starting your pet care business include:

Pet foods

If you are making or selling pet food as part of your pet care business, you need to be aware of the different regulations.

  • For information on manufacturing and importing pet foods, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

    Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Animal health
  • For information on labelling and advertising regulations for dog and cat food, contact the Competition Bureau:

    Competition Bureau
    Guide for the Labelling and Advertising of Pet Foods

Importing or exporting wild plants or animals

If you plan on importing or exporting wild plants or animals, you may need an import or export permit.

Contact Environment and Climate Change Canada:
Permits for trade in protected species

You may also wish to consult the following guides:

Legal questions

Legal questions

You can contact Pro Bono Ontario’s free legal advice hotline to enquire about getting help with your everyday civil legal needs (no family law, immigration or criminal law). The service is generally aimed at those who cannot afford a lawyer.

Note that service is not guaranteed and you will be asked questions as part of the qualifying process, such as the amount of personal income earned by your household, your name, postal code and age range.

Contact Pro Bono Ontario’s Free Legal Advice Hotline:

Read online:
Pro Bono Ontario - Free Legal Advice Hotline


You can also contact the Law Society of Ontario's Law Society Referral Service if you have legal questions of a business nature. The service may be able to assist you in finding a lawyer or paralegal, based on your needs.

Use online:
Law Society Referral Service



Depending on your location and the type of products or services being offered, federal, provincial and/or municipal business taxes may apply.

Read online:
Taxation guide

If you sell goods and services in Ontario, you may need a business number to collect and remit the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). Most businesses that make less than $30,000 in any 12-month period are not required to charge HST; however, you can register voluntarily and claim input tax credits. Speak with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for more information.

Contact CRA:
Canada Revenue Agency



Grants, contributions, subsidies and loan guarantees are available from various government sources. Use Innovation Canada’s online search tool to look for programs and services that may apply to your business.

Search online:
Business Benefits Finder

Other resources

Industry-specific information