There is good news for dog owners hoping to explore Quebec’s network of provincial parks, campgrounds and nature reserves in company of their four-legged friends.
As of May 17, dogs are allowed in the province’s parks managed by the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (SÉPAQ).
But before yipping with with joy, be aware of the strict rules in place to ensure the park grounds can still be enjoyed by all.
On its website, Sepaq lists the following regulations:
- Dogs must be kept on a leash no more than three metres in length and be under constant watch by their owners.
- Not all areas are accessible to pets; dogs must remain in authorized areas at all times.
- If a dog is showing aggressive behaviour, both the dog and the person in charge of the animal will be asked to leave the site.
- Dog excrement must be picked up immediately.
- Dogs need to spend the night in the same camping equipment as the person in charge of it.
- Barking or howling dogs, as well as those affecting the safety and tranquility of other visitors, will not be tolerated.
The move to allow dogs into parks comes after a two-year pilot project that showed high compliance rates by owners. The presence of dogs did not appear to have a negative impact on costumer experience.
“Insofar as these rules are respected, there is no reason to believe that the presence of dogs has a bigger impact than that of humans in provincial parks,” a statement on the website reads.
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While most parks will be accessible to dogs — albeit limited to certain areas — some parks will be off limits, including Sépaq Anticosti and Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé.
Guide dogs and service dogs are allowed everywhere.