November 19, 2021

By: Emilie Lapointe

This week, I’m excited to finally introduce my favourite furry friend to readers, Daisy (I like to call her squish). Daisy is my sister’s four-year-old French Bulldog and she is filled with boundless energy. I had the pleasure of dog sitting last week and we spent some quality time exploring Oakville’s dog-friendly trails.

With over 1,400 hectares of parkland, 200km of trails and more than 200 parks, Oakville has something to suit every dog and owner’s needs. While Daisy’s excitement for the outdoors has no limits, her squishy face does limit her ability to navigate long and rough terrain. For her, I prefer easy pathways with plenty of little details tucked alongside the trail for her to sniff and explore.

Based on those criteria, I chose one of my personal go-to parks, Lions Valley Park, to enjoy a leisurely autumnal stroll along the Sixteen Mile Creek trail system. In fall, the park and its views are unbeatable as you walk along its babbling creek lined with trees peppered with fall coloured leaves. The 11.7km trail loop is moderately flat, with a few steady inclines, making it a great option for hikers, bikers, runners and even snowshoers in the winter.

Daisy, like me, gets distracted by all the little details on her walks and gets very stimulated in beautiful outdoors spaces – the people, the other dogs, the forest critters, a falling leaf… It’s all very exciting!

Make sure to prepare your furry friend for their outdoor adventure, especially as it gets cooler outside, by packing the following additional items:

  1. A harness – Depending on your dog and their walking style, this may or may not be necessary. Daisy uses one, adorned with the flower of her namesake, because frenchies tend to pull, which can restrict their breathing with just a collar for walks
  2. A water bottle and travel bowl – Keep your pup hydrated!
  3. A sweater or coat for your dog – Again, this may or may not be needed, but short-haired dogs may be more comfortable bundled up in the winter
  4. Treats – It’s their version of trail snacks! They also serve as a bonus for rewarding good behaviour while walking
  5. Bags – Make sure to pick up after your dog to keep our trail systems and parks clean

For our walk, I invited my boyfriend to come along, as Daisy is obsessed with him, and it makes for a fun outing for us all. We set out on a somewhat gloomy Sunday for a brisk walk along the Moccasin Trail. While there was some light rain, the trail has a decent amount of tree cover, which helped to keep us dry for longer.

Daisy’s stamina and attention span are limited so we enjoyed a shorter visit to the park. For dogs that are looking for a whole day adventure, both Lions Valley Park and Bronte Creek Provincial Park are excellent options. I would recommend packing a picnic, exploring the extensive trails and practicing mindfulness, as there are so many small details along the way.

For other picturesque, shorter walks, there are several park options like Lakeside Park, Coronation Park, Gairloch Gardens and Bayshire Woods. Take a look at our list of parks across Oakville and download our Leash-Free Dog Park Map.

Spending some quality time with your dog, getting some fresh air and exercise is a perfect way to unwind after a hectic work week. After our Sunday outing, Daisy was wiped out and spent the rest of the day cuddling and napping!