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Walk your dog indoors at Orchard Park mall while the air is toxic outside

Benji broke his Monday afternoon bad-air-quality boredom with a brisk, 20-minute walk inside Orchard Park Shopping Centre.

"That's right, while air quality is poor outside due to the wildfire smoke, dogs (with their owners) are welcome for a walk inside the shopping centre," said Orchard park marketing manager Pamela Jacques.

"During this time we wanted to make sure dogs and their owners have an alternative to walking in the smoky outdoors. Really, it's a question of safety. Walking outside in this poor air quality is dangerous."

</who>Benji enjoys a walk at Orchard Park Shopping Centre.

Benji and his owner did the whole circuit throughout the mall from the main entrance by Indigo down the long and wide east corridor, turning right at Ardene to follow the south corridor and then another right up the long and wide west corridor to exit at the main entrance.

The only stops were at The Gap for Benji's owner to buy a t-shirt and a couple of friendly sniffs with other dogs.

Total distance is likely a little over one kilometre.

</who>At a massive 707,000 square feet, Orchard Park Shopping Centre has long stretches of wide hallways to walk your dog.

Orchard Park has 170 stores over 707,000 square feet making it the biggest enclosed mall between Vancouver and Calgary.

As such it is huge and has long, wide corridors perfect for strolling.

To take advantage of this temporary-dogs-allowed situation, pooches have to be well-behaved and on a leash and walk during the mall's current opening hours of 10 am to 6 pm daily.

Dogs are allowed in all common areas of the mall right now, which essentially means the corridors.

Dogs are not allowed in the food court for food service safety reasons.

Individual stores can decide whether or not to allow dogs.

Most are permitting dogs while the mall does this program.

This brings us to the delicate topic of doggie pee and poop.

"Definitely bring your poop bags and pick up after your dog," said Jacques.

"And if there is a pee accident our janitorial staff can mop it up. But for the most part we haven't had any accidents. Most dogs know not to pee or poop indoors."

That means even if you want to give your dog a good walk indoors in the clean air at Orchard Park, you'll have to do a short walk outside so your pooch can do their business.

</who>Orchard Park Shopping Centre is the largest enclosed mall between Vancouver and Calgary.

When the wildfires got bad around Kelowna, Orchard Park decided to do whatever it could to help the community.

Last week, it started opening up it massive parking lot so people on evacuation order could park their RVs, campers, trailers and heavy equipment overnight.

Mall tenant, Planet Fitness, opened its doors so people evacuated from their homes could shower.

And then this week, Orchard Park general manager Catherine Whittingstall decided the mall would be a reprieve for dogs and their owners.

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