All You Need to Know about Dog Bites in Toronto

Dogs are known to be man’s best friend, but even the friendliest of dogs can bite or attack humans or other animals under certain circumstances. If you or your pet has been involved in a dog bite incident in Toronto, it is important to know what to do and who to contact. In this blog post, we will discuss what steps to take and what the city will do after a dog bite incident in Toronto.

What to Do If a Dog Bites or Attacks You

In case a dog bites or attacks and breaks your skin, the initial step is to obtain medical attention. In the event of a severe bite, immediately dial 911. After receiving medical attention, it is critical to gather the name and address of the dog owner and obtain information on anyone who witnessed the bite. Thoroughly wash the bite or wound with soap and water for at least 15 minutes and apply antiseptic, if available. It is also essential to take a clear photograph of the bite injury and document the date and time of the photo. Compose concise notes regarding the date, time, and location of the incident, what occurred, and a precise description of the dog. Report the event to Toronto Public Health by calling 416-338-7600 and Toronto Animal Services by calling 311 without delay once treatment is finished.

What to Do If Your Pet Has Been Bitten or Attacked by a Dog

If a dog has bitten or attacked your pet, immediately notify Toronto Animal Services by dialling 311. In case your dog has bitten another dog, restrain your dog by putting it on a leash and isolating it from causing any additional threats. Give your contact information to the owner of the bitten dog and take concise notes of the event. If your dog broke the other dog’s skin, isolate your dog until contacted by Toronto Public Health. If needed, consult an expert about your dog’s behaviour.

Dog Bite Levels

In Toronto, there are five levels of dog bites that are used to determine the severity of the injury. We will take a closer look at each of these levels and what you need to know about dog bites in Toronto.

Level 0

Level 0 is the least severe level of a dog bite. It involves obnoxious or aggressive behaviour, but there is no skin contact by teeth and no injury. The dog may growl, snarl, or lunge, but no teeth touch the skin.

Level 1

Level 1 involves skin contact by teeth, but the injuries are minor. The bite may cause skin nicks, scrapes, redness, and welts caused by the movement of the teeth. There may be pressure marks or indentations that leave scratches or abrasions, and there may be slight bleeding. However, there are no distinct punctures.

Level 2

Level 2 classification pertains to a dog bite that involves a single bite resulting in one to four punctures, without any deep punctures. In addition, the length of the puncture is shorter than half the length of the dog’s canine teeth. The bite may cause skin tearing or shallow lacerations in a single direction. This is usually caused by the victim or owner pulling the dog away or gravity if the dog jumps up.

Level 3

Level 3 classification pertains to a dog bite that involves a single bite resulting in one to four punctures, where at least one of the punctures is deep. The depth of the puncture exceeds half the length of the dog’s canine teeth. The wound may include deep bruising or lacerations in both directions caused by the dog holding on for several seconds and bearing down. With this type of bite, the dog clamps down and does not release quickly. Lacerations often occur as the individual pulls away while the dog still has a hold with their teeth.

Level 4

Level 4 is a multiple-bite incident, which includes severe injuries as a result of an attack. The dog bites multiple times in a row, causing punctures and often tears. Some bites may be bite-release, while others may be bite and hold.

Level 5

The most severe classification of a dog bite is Level 5, where the victim has passed away as a consequence of the bite or attack.

What the City Will Do

After Toronto Animal Services receives a report about a dog that has engaged in a dangerous act, an officer will investigate by interviewing the victim, dog owner, and witnesses, collecting statements and medical documentation (if relevant), taking photos, and gathering any other evidence related to the incident. If it is concluded that the dog did perform a dangerous act, one of the following measures will be implemented:

  1. If the dangerous act is not severe and it is the first time it has been recorded with the City, a written warning will be given.
  2. In case the dangerous act is severe or it is the second or subsequent incident recorded with the City, a dangerous dog order will be issued.


If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog in Toronto, it is important to take immediate action to protect your health and well-being. Seek medical attention, report the incident to the appropriate authorities, and consider contacting a dog bite lawyer in Toronto such as to help you navigate the legal process and receive the compensation you deserve. With the right support and resources, you can recover from this traumatic experience and move forward with your life.