Halifax’s animal by-law states that you must keep your dogs on leash in public areas where no signs are posted indicating otherwise. Failing to follow this by-law may lead to a hefty fine.
It also makes you a good neighbour! Some people don’t like dogs, and others are truly afraid of dogs. Keeping your dog on a leash shows respect for others around you especially those who wish to keep their distance from dogs. Additionally, whether intentional or not, a dog could bite, knock over or injure someone.
A dog on a leash might feel scared or threatened if an unleashed dog runs up to them, much like you would if a dog ran up to you. This opens up the potential for the leashed dog to lunge or snap if they feel the need to protect themselves (or their owner). Just because your dog is friendly doesn’t mean people or other dogs want your dog running up to them to say hello.
An unleashed dog that runs across the road could become injured by an oncoming car or cause an accident when a driver tries to avoid hitting the dog.
When your dog is not on a leash, you may not notice when they have eliminated. Failure to poop “n” scoop could result in a fine, not to mention make you even more unpopular with your neighbours.
Your best friend could become nature’s enemy if taken off a leash and allowed to run free. Dog’s that leave trails can destroy the homes of ground-nesting birds, stress small mammals, destroy plants, leave feces that disrupts the natural balance of the ecosystem, and they are susceptible to the rabies virus through wildlife they may encounter. As well, they are more likely to encounter porcupines and end their walk with a face full of quills.
It’s harder to monitor what your dog may try to eat or drink when they are roaming off leash. They could drink contaminated water, tread through pesticides, come in contact with poisonous plants, thorns and burrs which could result in an unexpected trip to the vet.
And finally…if your dog gets away, you risk them getting lost or injured!
Written by: Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator