All the snow is almost gone which means it shouldn’t be a major surprise to see a packed parking lot at the Stoney Creek Dog Park.
Open from sunrise to sunset, there are always dogs playing in the fenced-in, off-leash property, spanning 8 acres on the corner of Adelaide St. and Windermere Rd.
Off-leash dog parks allow owners and their pets to socialize, but there are rules to be followed.
“Until you’re in the park proper, inside the gate, you need to have your dog on a leash,” explains Leslie Pidlubney, president of the London Dog Owners Association. “No toys or food because they can cause aggression, and you don’t know what another dog’s dietary concerns are. Your dog may be great with a toy, and others may not.”
It’s also important to remember to pick up after your dog and to make sure that pets have their vaccinations up-to-date. But the parks aren’t just for the dogs. For their masters, the social interaction is a big park of why they go.
“You’re got groups of people walking and talking, the dogs are having a riot, it’s social on so many levels. It draws people together, and we have had people that just come and sit and watch for something to do. Maybe it’s because they lost their pet, they’re not ready to get a new one, but they just can’t stay away from it. They find it an enjoyable outing.”
Pidlubney has a dog of her own, but she recognizes that his time to socialized may have come and gone.
“He loves it, but there comes a point when maybe they’re not a candidate. He’s now deaf, and he’s partially blind, so it’s harder having him around other dogs.”
Dog parks are incredibly popular, and in order to keep them safe and fun, make sure you follow the rules and clean up after your dog. For more information on dog parks in the city, you can visit their website here.