I was on my way to work when I heard 5 dogs got ill from antifreeze at the off-leash park in High Park. It is suspected antifreeze was poured into the hydrant that pumps water for the dogs. Police are now under investigation. Apparently the residents have been disputing over the High Park off-leash area. Whatever the case may be, this is cruel. Putting antifreeze in a dogs drinking water is like putting cyanide in a drinking fountain at the local community center. Who could have thought of this let alone act it out? Humans have some serious problems.
When it comes to dogs drinking communal water, I usually bring my own water and bowl for my dog. You just don't know where that water came from or who's been drinking from it. I wouldn't drink water from a public water bowl so I wouldn't expect my dog to do the same. As for off-leash parks, I'm not a big fan of them and I'll tell you why.
Off-leash parks are not supervised, the ones that I know. Unless owners are very experienced and knowledgeable with canine body language, some bad behaviours can be learned. Dogs approaching with direct eye contact, dogs playing too rough and not having a "soft mouth". Dogs are like humans, they are not going to like everyone and they don't have to. Could you stop several dogs if they started to get into a disagreement? Could you get your dog to recall in a situation like that? All right that may be an extreme but it does happen. Not all of our pets are going to be well trained or behaved so I do caution off-leash parks.
Just a final word. Simply put use common sense. Be wary of communal water, if you don't trust it, bring your own water for your dog. Watch over your dog if you go to off-leash parks and teach your dog to have a reliable recall.