Public engagement on this project is now complete. Your input will help inform the design and, if approved, the future management of these parks. A summary of input received will be attached to the City Council decision report.
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Saskatoon's current dog parks are excellent venues for pets to exercise and burn off energy. However, it is important to understand that large and small dogs are different, not only in size but also in behavioural traits. Even without intent, a larger dog can seriously injure a smaller dog while engaging in exercise or play.
Public Interest in Dog Parks for Small Dogs
An animal services customer satisfaction survey was conducted in 2018 to better understand dog owner use and satisfaction with current dog parks in Saskatoon. In total, 606 Saskatoon dog owners completed the survey.
One of the recommendations from this survey was that the City should develop off-leash areas specifically for small dogs to better manage animal behaviour and improve both animal and owner safety while using dog parks. The majority of survey respondents who own small to medium sized dogs said they would be more likely to use a designated area for small dogs if they were available.
The City has also received many requests for dedicated space specifically for small dogs over the past several years.
Two locations for dog parks for small dogs have been proposed; one west location and one east location.
The proposed west location would be approximately 1 acre within Charlottetown Park. This park is in the Confederation Suburban Centre, just north of the Cosmo Civic Centre, and adjacent to Massey Place. The location was identified based on its proximity to the neighbouring communities, its easy access from major roadways, ample parking, and no programming currently takes place in this space.
The proposed east location would be approximately a 0.5 of an acre extension to the north of the existing dog park in Hyde Park. The park is in Rosewood, nearby other neighbourhoods including Lakeridge and the Lakewood Urban Centre. This location was identified based on its proximity to the neighbouring communities, it has easy access from main roadways, there is ample parking, and there is currently no programming in the proposed space.
Why a dedicated dog park for small dogs?
A dedicated dog park specifically for small dogs will provide a safe and developmentally appropriate naturalized space for both owners/handlers and their dog to enjoy exercise and socialize.
What does the City consider to be a small dog?
The City defines a small dog as being no larger than 16-inches tall at the shoulder and weighing no more than 20 pounds. Handlers of dogs that are this size or smaller would be allowed to use the dog parks for small dogs. This maximum size was defined in collaboration with the Animal Services Working Group, which includes representatives from City of Saskatoon Administration, Saskatoon Animal Control, Saskatoon SPCA, University of Saskatchewan College of Veterinary Medicine, Saskatchewan Public Health, and public representation.
How will I know if my dog is allowed in a dog park for small dogs?
There will be signs posted at the entrances to the dog parks for small dogs indicating the size of dog that is allowed.
Will small dogs still be allowed in the other dog parks?
Yes. The other dog parks do not have size designations for which dogs are allowed to enter the parks.
Will my dog need to be on a leash in a dog park for small dogs?
Each dedicated dog park for small dogs with be off-leash. However, dogs must not be left unattended and handlers should be able to control their dog should the need arise. Owners should have a leash on hand and have the option to utilize a leash as they deem necessary while in the park. Dogs are to remain on-leash until within the boundary of the dog park.
When would the dog parks for small dogs be open to the public?
If approved by City Council, construction could start mid-summer with anticipated completion before the end of the year.
Why did the City choose these two locations?
Charlottetown Park and Hyde Park were chosen as the locations for dog parks for small dogs because both are close to neighbouring communities, have convenient access from major roadways, have ample parking, and the spaces are not currently being used for other programming. Having an east and west location also provides a dog park for small dogs on each side of the river.
How much will developing these parks cost?
Funding to develop two dog parks for small dogs was approved in the 2022-2023 Capital Budget. Expenses for developing the two parks is estimated at $95,000. Ongoing operating expenses would be funded through the Animal Services Operating Budget.
How will the dog parks for small dogs be enforced?
Parks will be primarily user managed. However, signage will be posted indicating spaces are for small dogs only with established limitations. We ask that all users be respectful of park rules as well as one another while using the space. A valid pet license is required to access each park and owners should ensure their dog has up-to-date vaccinations.
Will the dog parks for small dogs be fenced?
Both Charlottetown Park and Hyde Park locations will be fully fenced (consistent with current dog park standards) and will include two access gates, waste dispensers, waste receptacles, and information signage.