Toronto Veterinarians - Pet Wellness Network


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Contact Willowdale Animal Hospital

Open 24 Hours, Year Round

256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
(416) 222-5409

We all love High Park in the Fall. The changing leaves, the tranquil breeze from across the pond and of course the very popular off-lease area. Since this part of the park is a shared community space used by many of our patients and their owners, our staff has put together some simple tips and easy to follow etiquette for our discerning dog owners and High Park lovers alike:

– Ensure your dogs comes when you call. This is for your pup’s safety as well as the safely of others using the area.

– Always keep an eye on your dog and ensure they are within voice range. Never assume that someone else will keep an eye on your pet. The park is not fully fenced so make sure that your dog won’t run away as soon as you take off the leash.

– Make sure your dog is up-to-date on his vaccinations. Since this is a place your pup will come into contact with other dogs, people and potentially foreign animals, they could be vulnerable to illnesses that a simple shot could prevent.

– Leave female dogs in heat at home. Feel free to bring them back once their done their cycle.

– Hold back on bringing young puppies before 16 weeks of age, or about a week after your pup’s 3rd set of vaccines.

– Everything in moderation – Never bring more dogs than you can handle, just in case a situation might arise.

– Use common sense when bringing un-neutered male dogs. If you know your dog has a tendency to engage in fights, then the leash-free park isn’t an appropriate venue for your pup. Leash-free areas are not suitable for aggressive dogs of any kind. Always keep in mind that you’re using a share space and it should be treated as such.

– Should your dog start behaving aggressively, leash him immediately and leave. Discipline and obedience training don’t stop when off-leash.

– No digging! Holes are dangerous to others using the park. If you catch your dog digging a hole, stop him and then fill in the hole.

– Respect the rules of the dog park. There are many open areas and trails inside High Park and although it is not permitted to let your dog off leash anywhere outside the dog park area, if your dog is well behaved most park patrons may not mind you off-leash while transit to the designated leash-free zone. There is also running water inside the park so you don’t need to bring water with you from home, but be sure to ensure your pup isn’t monopolizing or disrupting the water situation – this too is a shared space.

– Clean up after your dog… every time! Bring plenty of plastic bags to pick up after your pet. No one likes a soiled shoe.

– Be friendly and feel free to chat – Near the park entrance there are a few large benches and tables where dogs and owners can socialize. This is not only enjoyable for you but can also help your dog feel at ease with other patrons and their pets. Also, should a “situation” of any kind arise, it’s always good to have help from other dog owners.

– Abide by bylaws – Membership is not required for our local High Park dog park, however, in accordance with the City of Toronto bylaws, all dogs must have a valid dog license and must be vaccinated against rabies.

If you have further question about dog park etiquette or getting your dogs vaccinations up to date, give us a call at 416-767-5817. We’ll be happy to address any of your concerns and ensure that you and your pet have a safe and happy time while enjoying our beautiful neighbourhood space.

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