Dogs Make Many of Us Happier, But Pet Ownership Also Brings Added Responsibilities

By Jocelyne Caloz

Some things have become even more obvious during the pandemic, dogs make us feel less alone; they can be there for us even when our family and friends cannot. They help comfort and ease some of our worries; they accept us and are glad to see us, and petting our dogs can alleviate stress and anxiety.

Dogs Make Us Happier 1

Walking with our dogs can make us more social and give people a conversation starter. Think of all the times you have seen dog owners or you, as dog owners, talk with other people, at the dog park. They encourage us to move as they love long walks.

We have seen a growing number of dog owners over the past year and a half in Old Ottawa East and one can reasonably expect to see more over the next few months as OOE’s population increases.

A dog owner or a person controlling a dog is responsible and accountable for the actions of the dog. These actions can include barking, howling, defecating, running at large, biting, damaging property, injuring a person by means other than a bite, and chasing wildlife.

It is therefore important to review the responsibilities of dog owners and related City of Ottawa by-laws. Dogs are not allowed within five meters of a play structure, a wading pool, or a spray pad. They must be on a leash at all times unless on private property or in an off-leash park. The leash must be a maximum length of three meters.

There are certain challenges at Brantwood Park as dog owners west of Onslow are obliged to ensure they do not cut across the park to access the river pathway to Windsor off-leash park. They are expected to respect the no-dog signage on Onslow at Beckwith, Glengarry, and Belgrave. Dogs are only permitted on leash on the pathway along the river as indicated by signage at both the entrance to and exit from the pathway.


If you own a dog in Ottawa, you should know about…

Stooping and scooping: Dog waste is a public health hazard, takes the pleasure out of outdoor activities, and pollutes the environment. Dog owners in Ottawa are required to pick up after their dogs and are encouraged to take the waste home to dispose of it on their own premises. The City encourages flushing pet waste down the toilet, as it will be properly treated at the sewage plant. Dog owners can also place the waste in their regular garbage as long as it is properly wrapped in absorbent paper and placed in a sealed, leak-proof bag. Note that failure to pick up after your dog is a by-law offence, as is failure to take it home and dispose of it on your own premises. Work has been done by the City to place special receptacles for pet waste in parks, but it must be noted that not all garbage receptacles can be used for pet waste.

Dogs Make Us Happier 2

Spaying or neutering your pet: Being a responsible pet owner includes having your pet spayed or neutered. Proof of sterilization reduces the cost of registering your pet.
This proof includes one of the following:
• Spay/Neuter Certificate received following the surgery
• Signed note from a qualified veterinarian
• Copy of an invoice from a veterinary
facility identifying the animal as spayed or neutered
• Copy of your adoption agreement, as applicable.
There are several advantages to spaying your female pet and neutering your male pet. They include less likelihood to suffer from diseases or cancers or to stray from home and become lost or injured.

Limits on the number of dogs: The limit on the number of dogs, over 20 weeks of age, per household is three in all areas of the City of Ottawa.

Microchipping: An identification tag should be worn at all times. Microchips provide a permanent means of pet identification. Thousands of stray dogs and cats are brought to the municipal pound each year because these animals do not have – or are not wearing – identifying tags.

Barking and Howling: Pet owners must prevent their pet from constant barking or causing other noise that disturbs people and the neighbourhood; this is in violation of the City’s noise by-law.

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