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Responsible Pet Ownership

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The City of Waterloo is a pet-friendly community where you and your dogs can enjoy a walk along one of many trails or a trip to a neighbourhood park. Remember to keep your dog on a leash at all times to avoid a fine and to keep your dog safe.

We have a popular leash-free park in Bechtel Park where your dog can run free.

Here are some other tips for responsible pet ownership:
  • Schoolyards, public parks and trails are not leash-free zones. Keep your dog on a leash at all times unless you are visiting the leash-free dog area at Bechtel Park.
  • Dispose of pet waste the right way - use a compostable bag and put it in your green bin at home. Trash cans in parks and on pathways are the wrong receptacle for pet waste. The Region of Waterloo provides information about proper pet waste disposal and provides a list of locations where you can purchase compostable bags.
  • Get your dog licensed. Purchase your dog tag online. Dog tags help us reunite lost dogs with their owners quicker and easier.
  • Limit the number of dogs in your home to three
  • Don't let your dog bark persistently (it is a violation of our noise bylaw)

The Region of Waterloo Public Health website has information on what to do if a dog bites you or someone you know.

Dog waste recycling containers

Effective May 2017, three parks in Waterloo will participate in a dog waste recycling pilot project.

When dog owners do not pick up after their dog, it makes it difficult for others to enjoy their time in the park. Sometimes children cannot play on their school field because dog owners have left pet waste on the ground. 

Dog waste containerOne dog waste recycling container will be installed at the following parks, in highly visible locations: 

  • St. Moritz Park
  • Lakeshore Optimist Park
  • Bechtel Dog Park

How do I use the container?

Dog owners pick up dog waste and drop it into the container from the opening in the top. Any type of bag can be used with these containers - they do not have to be compostable. The waste drops into the container that is installed underground.

How is the container emptied?

A dog waste removal company will empty the containers with a vacuum truck and ship the waste to Bio-En in Elmira. 

Why have only three parks been chosen for the project?

These parks were chosen for the pilot project because of the high volume of dog owners in each area. The project will be reviewed in a year's time to determine if it can be expanded into other parks in Waterloo.

What if my park doesn't have one of these containers? 

Green bin

Dog waste does not belong in public garbage cans. In areas where the dog waste recycling container is not available, use a compostable bag to pick up waste, carry it home and dispose of it in your green bin at home, as per Region of Waterloo instructions.

Why is it important to pick up dog waste?

When dog owners pick up dog waste and dispose of it properly - either in these new receptacles or at home in the green bin, they reduce the number of overflowing, smelly garbage cans and increase the overall enjoyment of our parks. 

Overflowing canCity of Waterloo staff empty public garbage cans throughout our parks and open spaces on a 10 to 14 day rotation schedule. When they are filled with dog waste, it is difficult and sometimes dangerous, for staff to empty the cans safely. 

Household waste does not belong in public garbage cans either. All household waste must be disposed of at home as per Region of Waterloo instructions