One of the best things about living in the Capital Region is the abundance of green space to explore with our furry friends.
Pets are welcome at most regional parks and regional trails, though there are some rules surrounding the friendly companions, such as on/off-leash areas and respecting other park-goers’ space.
Thankfully, the CRD has provided a few tips and tricks for park pooches and their humans through PAWS:
- PROTECT nature by keeping your dog away from wildlife and sensitive areas (i.e. stay together on sanctioned trails).
- ALWAYS RESPECT other park visitors and pets, who may not want your dog’s attention (even if your fur baby is friendly).
- WATCH that your pup is in sight, under control, and on a leash where required (an out-of-sight, off-leash dog could spook or attract a bear, get hurt on rough terrain or ingest harmful materials like animal scat and poisonous mushrooms).
- SCOOP your dog’s poop and take it to the trash (dog poop can contain harmful bacteria that should not be left in parks, and abandoned waste bags are choking hazards for wildlife).
PAWS in Parks is an on-going awareness campaign that seeks to educate park visitors on pet etiquette so that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable experience in our region’s natural spaces.
Why is pet etiquette important?
Keeping your pooch in sight, under control, and on a leash where required will protect you, your pet, and other park visitors from hazards that naturally occur in regional parks. Some regional parks, like Sooke Hills Wilderness, require that pups are always on-leash for their own and others’ safety. Other parks have seasonal prohibitions zones or on/off-leash areas.
Following pet etiquette will also protect our region’s parks and the animals that call them home. You and your pup can enjoy nature and protect it by following PAWS and by staying on sanctioned trails, which factor in a buffer zone between visitor activity and sensitive areas.
For more tips to help keep your pup safe outdoors, and for a list of on/off-leash regional parks, head to CRD’s website.