Responsible dog ownership
- It is law that your dog MUST wear a collar when in a public place with a tag bearing your name, address and telephone number. Failure to comply may result in a fine.
- It is a legal requirement that your dog is microchipped. The microchip will hold all the contact details of the owner and has its own unique number which is held on a national database. It is the owners responsibility to make sure these details are kept up-to-date. Failure to comply may result in a fine.
- Obey any byelaws or regulations when walking your dog in public. Please see Dog Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for further information.
- Never leave a dog in a motor vehicle on even moderately warm days, as this can have fatal effects.
Your dog's welfare
Dog owners are legally obliged to care for their dogs properly, by providing these five basic needs:
- Somewhere suitable to live
- A proper diet, including fresh water at all times
- The ability to express normal behaviour
- To be housed appropriately with, or apart from, other animals
- Protection from, and treatment of, illness and injury
It is a legal requirement that you pick up after your dog has fouled in a public place and place it in a dog bin or litter bin. People who do not comply risk being issued with a fixed penalty notice, or face legal action in the Magistrates Court with a maximum penalty fine of £1,000.
There is an illness that people, dogs, livestock and wildlife can get from the dog faeces called Toxocariasis. This is caused by a parasite known as Toxocara Canis (more commonly known as Roundworm). These parasites live in the digestive system of dogs where their eggs can be released in the faeces of infected animals and then contaminated the soil. When in contact with this soil this can cause serious illness and even blindness. You can reduce the health risk to the public by regularly worming your dog.
Caring for your dog
- Make sure that your dog has a comfortable and clean place to rest and a suitable area to regularly go to the toilet.
- Keep your dog on a lead and under control when in public places.
- Do not let it stray.
- Leaving your dog unattended and tied up i.e. outside a shop increases the risk of dog theft.
Food and Drink
- Having plenty of fresh water available to drink at all times is essential. Without water to drink, a dog may become seriously ill within hours.
- A dog needs a well balanced diet to be fit and healthy.
- Exactly how much food your dog needs depends on its diet, its body weight and how active it is. Guides to quantities are normally shown on packaging.
- All dogs need to be exercised regularly and be able to walk and run freely.
- Please take care when exercising your dog to ensure it does not annoy others, and keep it on a lead when around livestock.
- Make sure that your dog has enough things to do to keep it occupied. This will prevent it becoming bored, distressed or destructive.
- When choosing a dog, only consider a breed or type that is suited to your family, your home, garden, and way of living.
- Consider the costs of caring for a dog carefully before you bring one into your home. It can be expensive! Pet insurance is a good idea.
- Training and socialising is key - you can teach an old dog new tricks, it’s never to late to start training.
- Dogs are sociable animals who need and enjoy company, so make sure you don’t leave yours alone for long periods. If you do need to leave your dog, make sure it is cared for by a responsible person.
Health and Welfare
- If your dog is showing signs of pain or is injured in any way, consult a vet immediately.
- Seek the advice of a vet on matters such as worming, vaccination, neutering and other treatments.
- Be aware of your dog’s surroundings at all times, minimise any risks that it could face and keep it safe.
- Keep your dog up to date with any required injections with your local vet.