If you’re walking your dog in an area that has wildlife, make sure it’s on a leash. That’s the message from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry which says it’s illegal to let an unleashed dog run in areas where deer, moose, elk or bear live, during the closed season. The hunting season opening dates are still tentative, but you can find a list of the current start dates on the government’s website. The dates will be confirmed in April.

The MNRF says dog owners can be charged if a conservation officer sees a dog chasing one of those animals. The ministry also reminds dog owners that having your pet off the leash exposes it to risks like cars, disease, attacks by wild animals, or being caught in legally-set traps.

When it comes to local bylaws, Huntsville dog owners need to ensure their dogs are properly restrained, or muzzled if stipulated, when out of the house. The leash must be two meters long maximum and be strong enough to restrain the dog and keep it from chasing or biting people or other animals. Any dog found running around can be impounded by animal control.

A similar bylaw is in place in Bracebridge. Dog owners aren’t allowed to let their dogs run at large and must be kept under control when off the property at all times.

More details on how to protect your pets are on the MNRF website.