Responsible Dog Ownership
Here are some basic tips on being a responsible dog owner.
Train your dog in basic obedience - a trained dog makes for a happy dog and a happy owner. Training is important because it means you can control your dog more effectively. Dogs love to learn so it's a great way of ensuring that your pet doesn't get bored.
Always keep your dog under control when in a public place - not everyone is comfortable around dogs so think of others when your dog is out.
Durham County Council is encouraging all dog owners to take note of their new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for dog control. In County Durham, the PSPO means: • All dog foul must be picked up and deposited in a bin • Dogs are not allowed to stray/wander loose/exercise on their own without a responsible dog owner present • Dogs are not allowed into fenced off play areas included in the PSPO • Dogs must be placed on leads when asked to do so by an authorised officer The PSPO can be enforced by a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice. For more details see www.durham.gov.uk/dogcontrol #FollowOurLead and be a responsible dog owner.
If your dog is at all aggressive, it should never be allowed off the lead and muzzled when in public.
Keep noise to a minimum - try to stop it barking unnecessarily as complaints regarding barking dogs will be investigated and action may be taken by the council.
Clean up after your dog - always carry a plastic bag with you when out walking and put your dog's mess in a litter or dog waste bin. If there is a problem of dog fouling where you walk your dog, report it to the council.
Vaccinate and worm your dog regularly - your dog needs to be vaccinated every year. Leptospirosis and Parvovirus can both kill unvaccinated dogs. Worm your dog every 3-6 months. Puppies and bitches with litters may need to be wormed more frequently. Ask your vet for details.
Make sure that your dog has a collar and tag - it is a requirement by law that your dog wears a collar and tag containing your name, address and telephone number. It is a good idea to have your pet microchipped as well, incase the tag is lost. Durham County Council supports Stray Aid in a subsidised chipping campaign. Ratepayers in the Durham County Council area may be able to get their dog microchipped for free. Please ring Stray Aid 0300 9994247 for details.
Have your pet neutered - neutered dogs are less likely to stray and will not have unwanted litters. Even if your bitch never leaves your property, that does not stop a stray male coming in. There are real health benefits to having dogs neutered early, from 6 months of age. Be aware it is an offence to allow a female dog to be mated if she is less than a year old, or to allow her to have more than 6 litters in her lifetime.
Think carefully before you buy a dog or give a home to a stray - make sure you are fully aware of the responsibility you are taking on and that you know the breed of dog you are considering. Don't take dogs from puppy farms.
Make sure you know what the law requires of you.
Allow your dog to foul in public places.
Allow your dog to stray.
Leave your dog unattended for long periods.
Allow your dog to run out of control in public places.
Buy a puppy or dog as a surprise present.
Leave your dog in hot cars in the summer - they can die.