Dogs and HCA Areas

Bringing your furry, four-legged family members out on a hike can make for a great day in nature! We know our dogs love the outdoors just as much as we do, but when heading into our areas there are several important things to remember.

Dogs Must be Leashed

Yes it’s obvious but it must be said, dogs must be leashed – and under control – at all times.

Keeping your dog on leash isn’t about whether or not your dog is friendly or not – which is a personal view. There are other reasons to consider too…

  • It’s the law. Dog owners are required by the City of Hamilton By-law and the Conservation Authorities Act of Ontario to keep their dogs leashed at all times.
  • Safety of others. Even ‘nice’ dogs have had bad days or can become protective or defensive and lash out. It’s good to be mindful of others and that not everyone loves dogs.
  • Safety of your dog. Conservation areas are natural areas and can pose a danger to your dog. Fast-flowing currents can sweep away your dog and there is also wildlife to consider. Coyotes can pose a danger to dogs allowed off-leash and they don’t just go after small dogs either. Bigger dogs have been known to be targeted as well. Other off leash dogs that may not be friendly going after your dog means you can’t reel your dog into safety.
  • Health of the forest and wildlife. Off leash dogs can disturb environmentally sensitive areas. Many small mammals and ground-nesting birds have been lost to unleashed dogs.

Clean up after your dog

Don’t forget to bring your poop bags to clean up after your pup. There are garbage receptacles in our parking lots to dispose of their waste. Please, please, PLEASE do not tie your poop bags to trees. Christmas or not, these are not ornaments we want in the trees!

Don’t forget to tick check

Just like humans, dogs can pick up ticks when outside too. Do a thorough tick check of your dog before heading home. Don’t forget the spots that ticks love and are easy to hide: under the collar, ears, eyelids, face, genitals and groin, and between their toes. Learn more about ticks.

Be considerate of your pooch!

In addition to packing water for yourself, bring some for your dog as well. A little bowl can also make it easier for your dog to help them stay hydrated! Don’t forget to consider your dog’s fitness level, difficult and duration of a trail when deciding where to go too.

Follow these steps and you’ll have a paws-itively great day at HCA!


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