8 camping rules for Ontario dog owners

Dogs are allowed in campgrounds at Ontario's provincial parks but there are certain rules around your family pet's behaviour.

Part 1 of CBC Ottawa's 'Dog Days of Summer' series

There are certain rules dog owners must follow when they take their family dog on a camping trip to an Ontario provincial park. (CBC)

This summer I was trying to plan a camping trip with my wife, and she insisted we bring our 16-month-old dog.

Adele the dog. (CBC)

Energetic, fetch-loving Adele wants to go camping … badly. Catch CBC Ottawa's 'Dog Days of Summer' series inspired by this little dog.

We wondered, as dog people but fairly new pet owners, are we allowed to take our pet camping with us?

The answer in Ontario is yes, dogs are allowed in all of Ontario's provincial parks. But pet owners have certain responsibilities.

As a dog owner, picking up and disposing of dog waste is one of my pet peeves. It is even worse when dogs, especially angry or fierce ones, are running around without a leash.

If you plan on taking your dog camping this summer, Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources and Ontario Parks have listed eight things dog owners must do:

  • Keep dog on a leash (less than 2 metres) at all times — a park regulation.
  • Pick up and dispose of your dog’s waste in the garbage. Parks often have free dog waste bags available.
  • Keep your dog from chasing/harassing wildlife. Bringing your dog is not a solution to avoid wildlife confrontations: dogs can actually attract the attention of wildlife.
  • Use designated "dog beaches" only for swimming (if available).
  • Pets are not allowed to make excessive noise or disturb others. If your dog is a "barker," consider leaving your dog at home.
  • Pets are not allowed in park buildings.
  • If bugs are bothering your dog, put bug spray on a bandana not on the dog’s fur. It keeps them from licking off the bug spray, which could make them sick.
  • Not all campsites allow dogs - check park regulations before reserving your site.

If you follow these tips, which are actually rules, everyone can enjoy taking their dog camping.

Stay tuned next week, I will go over the 13 most dog-friendly campgrounds across Ontario. You will also learn more about my dog, Adele.