Community Parks and Dogs

End of school is here!  As a mum of two young boys, we live in our little park. Dogs pass through with their owners enjoying an evening walk, the kids are playing grounders and building sand castles, and the parents are unwinding from a hectic day at work and after-school activities. Our neighbourhood is clean and we try to keep our park as clean and safe for our children as best we can.

Except:  What if a neighbour lets their 90 lb unneutered male dog out without a lead and allows him to run through the park? What if the owner proceeds to take their time coming out of the house to yell at us that he is friendly?! Everything might be fine, or he might attack a little 2-year-old running in the park.

As parents, we have to make the decision to let our children around dogs or not. But because children are children, they see a dog and they automatically want to go and pet the animal. As a veterinary technician and a mum, I have taught my boys not to go up to animals who are not on a lead and to always ask the owners if they can pet them.

Then there is the risk if owners let their dogs run through the park and proceeds to defecate in the grass area.  As the kids will play baseball and soccer in the playing area, parents are usually doing sweeps for mountains of fecal material in order to keep their kids from dirty shoes and potential health risks. These risks can include parasites, bacterial infections, and fungal infections.

Our job as pet owners is to care for our animals, keep them safe and healthy and to follow the rules and laws of owning a pet. There are signs posted in all Municipal Parks stating to keep your dogs on lead and to scoop their poop. As responsible parents and members of the community, it is also our job to ask pet parents to follow the rules when we see a loose dog or someone not cleaning up their pet’s waste.

When someone lets their dog off leash and does not clean up after, who can we call? The municipality or animal services is a great start, and they can advise on what to do, or send a bylaw officer to the area and ensure people are following the proper protocols.

Our parks are awesome spaces for us, our children, and leashed pets to play, feel safe and have fun. Pet parents need to remember that off leash activities are only for designated off leash areas or dog parks, which are great! It is important for everyone to follow the rules to keep the park safe and clean for everyone to enjoy. That includes parents, pet owners, and other community members. That way, we all can enjoy the many great parks and green spaces in our neighbourhood!

By Rebecca Lamont, RVT


Order Early Before Holiday Closures

With warm wishes, Your dedicated team at North Town Veterinary Hospital

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North Town Veterinary Hospital is committed to doing everything possible to combat the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

As part of this commitment, effective immediately, North Town Veterinary Hospital will be instituting the following precautionary protocol to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

For the safety of yourself, our staff, and the community we are limiting the amount of clients permitted inside of our building. We have initiated a semi- open door policy to allow one person inside the hospital while your pet is here for a scheduled exam. One person is also permitted inside the hospital for surgical drop offs. Our emergency services remain closed door to clients as our building does not allow for proper social distancing while waiting for the veterinarian. Please call 905-451-2000 when you arrive for your appointment, surgical drop off or emergency service to gain further direction from one of our team members. You can also place an order for pet food through our Online Store by visiting our website.


- If possible, please call us at 905-451-2000 to let us know you are on the way so that we can be prepared to meet you upon your arrival at the hospital.

- When you arrive, please stay in your vehicle in our parking lot and call 905-451-2000, and we'll come to you.

- If you do not have a phone or your pet's emergency is immediately life-threatening, please come to the front door and ring the bell.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.