Public Reminders about Exploring Natural Areas with Dogs

Fall is a great season to get outdoors and explore local conservation areas. Otonabee Conservation offers a few reminders about enjoying the outdoors in the company of one’s dog (or dogs) while walking/hiking the scenic trails.

“There are a few key reminders to ensure the enjoyment and safety for all when exploring nature in our conservation areas,” Jessie James, Manager, Conservation Lands Program at Otonabee Conservation.

“To keep the dog safe, it must be kept on a leash (no more than 2 metres long) and be in the care, control and custody of its owner or guardian at all times,” says James. “Remember that conservation areas are natural spaces in the countryside, with native wildlife and terrain that may be unfamiliar. They are also home to species at risk that are actually in danger when a dog is loose.”

“Keeping a dog on a leash also shows consideration to other visitors who may be afraid or uncomfortable around wandering dogs.”

And finally, responsible pet owners are asked to ‘stoop and scoop’ after their dogs. “It’s as simple as taking a plastic bag along with you on your trail walk/hike so that you can ‘stoop and scoop’ after your pet,” reminds James.

Otonabee Conservation is one of 36 conservation authorities which provide public access to over 270 conservation areas across Ontario. Under the Conservation Authorities Act, Regulation 128, there are specific rules addressing animals on property owned by a conservation authority. The rules are in place to protect the natural environment, ensure the safe operation of the area and ensure that visitors and their pets have a safe and enjoyable experience.