Benefits of an off-leash dog park

  1. Provides a safe place for dogs - A dog park is a safe place for dogs to run off-lease without the concern of being hit by a car or other hazard.

  2. Dogs need to run to stay healthy – Not many people can run with their dogs on a leash. Veterinarians tell us it’s important for their health.
  3. Enhances community safety – dogs who have the opportunity to use dog parks become better socialized (more familiar and friendly with other dogs and people) thereby raising community safety in general.

  4. Encourages by-law enforcement – for municipalities with by-laws requiring dogs to be leashed, an off-leash area encourages compliance by providing a legal alternative. 

  5. Lessens complaints –Well-exercised dogs are better neighbours who are less likely to create a nuisance, bark excessively and destroy property. 

  6. Social opportunity for dog owners - Dog parks are a great place for owners to meet other people with common interests.  The love people share for their dogs reaches beyond economic and social barriers and helps to foster a sense of community.

  7. Peer advice for dog behaviour - Dog owners can also benefit from the advice and peer support re: problems they might have with their dogs.

  8. Reduces crime – The presence of owners and their dogs within a park may help to deter crime and vandalism in adjacent areas.

  9. Protects wildlife – Exercised dogs are less likely to search out wildlife to chase.

  10. Importance to seniors & disabled - the use of off-leash parks offers not only a social avenue, but also a safer way for those with mobility problems who find it very difficult to walk, much less exercise, a dog on lead.

  11. A positive amenity for those considering a move to Gravenhurst – Canadians love their pets and pets are now being recognized for their physical and mental health benefits to their owners in addition to their traditional role as companions.  Having a dog park will add to Gravenhurst’s list of attractions for those considering a move to the area.

  12. Personal security - dogs provide a measure of security, both perceived and real, to single women and elderly or handicapped persons who most often fall victim to crime in parks.

  13. A draw for people to visit the Town other municipalities report that their dog parks are a draw for people to come to visit their town, and often these visits mean engaging in other activities while they are here.

  14. A common request – Staff members at Gravenhurst Veterinary Services are repeatedly asked by cottagers and visitors for the location of the local dog park.

  15. A popular park space for municipalities – Due to the incredible public response to dog parks, over 40 other Ontario municipalities have at least one dog park within their jurisdictions, many have multiple parks. Our neighbours to the south Orillia (and apparently Midland as well) are currently building their second dog park.