Dog owners beware: Toronto bylaw officers are stepping up their enforcement efforts of the city's leash laws.

Police will be watching for dog owners whose pets are not on a leash, according to a statement from the City of Toronto sent Thursday morning.

"Owners are responsible for ensuring that their dogs do not run at large," the statement said.

"A dog is considered running at large if it is unleashed, off its owner's property and not under its owner's control."

Owners may be subject to fines of up to $360, the city statement said.

Last year, there were a total of 829 investigations into off-leash dogs, and 161 charges were laid under the provincial Dog Owners' Liability Act. So far this year, police have investigated 924 cases and laid 39 charges.

In Toronto, all dogs must be kept on a leash whenever they are on any property other than their owner's, unless they are in one of the city's leash-free dog parks.

In order to use the city's dog parks, dog owners must have vaccinated, licenced and spayed or neutered their dogs.

Dogs that are aggressive or have a history of biting other animals are not permitted at dog parks. Owners are responsible for their dogs and any injuries or damage caused by dogs in their care.

In addition to being leashed, all dogs must be licensed with the city. Licences cost $25 per year, and are available for purchase online.