Owning a dog in a major metropolitan city is no easy feat, but the life upgrade is so worth it. Dog owners in Toronto get to enjoy the best of the city and parks with their best friends, but do you know everything there is to know about the safest way to care for your pooch?

Every dog owner wants the best for their four-legged friends, and we’ve got the inside scoop. From dog-friendly parks to a few rules that may have slipped under your radar, you’re about to become an expert.

Here’s everything you need to know to take the best possible care of your pup.


We know he’s a good boy, but dog owners can be fined if their dog is off-leash outside of designated off-leash areas. You could pay a fine of up to $365, but that’s not all. Most accidents and incidents involving dogs are preventable when dogs are on a leash. This doesn’t just mean an attack. If your dog runs into a bike path and a cyclist is injured, you will be held responsible. Even good dogs have bad days. Keep them and others safe by keeping them leashed. 

dog owners in TO
Photo via Shutterstock


We all know that you have to pick up after your dog – it’s the least glamorous part. If only they could use a toilet, right? Anyway, the fine for not picking up is a whopping $365, so it’s best not to forget. The nice part is you can use any type of bag for doggy do-do and throw it in the Green Bin. At City facilities, organics are pre-processed to remove the bags, and your dog’s ‘mess’ eventually gets mixed with other organics to make compost that can be used to nourish soil. Cool, eh?


There’s nothing like getting outside on a beautiful day with your dog and letting them run free. They get a nice workout, and you get to watch them loving life. Some of our favourite off-leash spots are Sherwood Park, Balmy Beach Park and High Park. But you’re not limited since there are over 75 off-leash dog areas across the city of Toronto. Find the full list of city-approved spots here.

dog owners in Toronto
Photo via Shutterstock


Leash safety is pretty important, especially since there’s been a 39% increase in dog attacks and a 19% increase in the number of altercations involving dogs and other animals since 2022. Those aren’t nice numbers, but the good news is that most incidents are totally preventable by keeping your dog on a leash and properly secured when on your property. There are a lot of beautiful spots in Toronto where your pup can play while you have peace of mind.


Toronto Animal Services promotes responsible pet ownership in Toronto. . We never want to think about these things, but in case the worst happens and you or your dog is involved in an incident – report it! Dog owners, or anyone present, should contact 311 or visit at www.toronto.ca/BiteReport to report it. 

Even the bestest boy can have a rough day. Aside from being considerate of others, keeping your dog on a leash keeps them out of harm’s way too.