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Here's why dogs won't be allowed at some Farmers' Markets around Vancouver this summer

Farmers' Market reps further explain decision to not welcome dogs this year.

Many dog owners were left dismayed as Vancouver Farmers Markets made their return for the summer months, but were not welcoming any four-legged friends due to COVID restrictions.

OhMyDog! reported earlier this week that Vancouver Farmers Markets are asking locals to leave their canine friends at home this year, and unsurprisingly, the news was met with disappointment from pet parents excited for their return.

A recent poll by PawSwap's Instagram account showed that 81% of those who voted didn't agree with the reasoning behind the decision of some Farmers' Markets to not allow dogs this year, with many dog owners sharing their confusion.

Although VFM's website states that dogs are "not great at physical distancing and very little is known about the relationship between animals and COVID-19 at this time," a representative at Port Coquitlam Farmer's Market was able to offer a bit more clarity on the tough decision made by some markets.

"The rationale behind no dogs is nothing more than space restrictions coupled with the 'fur baby magnet'. Dogs take up space that is needed to keep people physically distant, and people love to stop and cuddle our fur babies," explains an email received by OhMyDog!. "Having said that, the Port Coquitlam Farmers Market and the Haney Farmers Market are blessed with a lot of room and we are allowing dogs within the market."

Ready to welcome dogs back

In April, Port Moody Market posted to its Instagram page requesting that dogs are not brought into the markets, explaining in the comments that they were "hopeful that soon with everyone's team efforts, policies will loosen and we can welcome back pups."

The team also responded to a comment asking for an explanation with the following information to help shed light on the decision. "It's nothing personal, believe us we adore seeing everyone's furry friends and are hopeful we can allow them back in soon. However as mentioned below we have PHO orders on distancing and limits to how many people can be in the market at a time based on a square foot calculation.

"Furry friends take up space we just do not have at the moment. There are several spots to tether your pup to a bike rack or pole outside the market allowing you a quick stroll through the market to grab much loved local essentials. Thanks for your continued patience as we all navigate Covid and keep our markets open." Since publishing this article, a representative at Port Moody Farmers' Market has reached out to OhMyDog! to confirm that dogs are now allowed back at the market.

Some markets remain dog-friendly

As well as Port Coquitlam Farmers Market and Haney Farmers Market, there are several local markets that are remaining dog-friendly this year.

The Artisan Farmers' Markets at Lonsdale, Burnaby and Ambleside confirmed to OhMyDog! that leashed dogs remain welcome with their human companions this year. "Not only are we dog friendly, we are connected to some of the best trails around. Take your dog for a good walk and then come by for a snack from our food trucks and a bit of shopping for fresh local foods," shares Johanna Clark, Chair of Artisan Farmers' Market Society.

"The Burnaby Market is close to Deer Lake Park and can be reached from the lovely treed trails as we are in the City Hall Parking lot, Ambleside Market is across the street from the spectacular 5km Centennial Trail and Lonsdale Market is right by Pacific Spirit Trail which follows the beautiful North Shore water front all the way to the Lions Gate Bridge," explains Clark. You can find the full list of dog-friendly local Farmers' Markets here.


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