Top tips for responsible pet owners
- Check your tenancy agreement or lease agreement prior to obtaining a pet.
- Clean up after your dog. Dog mess is an eyesore and a health hazard. If you are a dog owner, you have a legal duty to clean up every time your dog messes in a public place and can be issued an on-the spot fine by your local council if you don’t.
- Neuter or spay your dog as soon as it is old enough. Do this both to prevent unwanted litters, but also to prevent adolescent behaviour problems.
- Keep your dog on a lead in public at all times. This will prevent your dog running away, or jumping on other dogs or people.
- If you go away on holiday, make sure you have made arrangements for your pet to be cared for.
- If you leave your pet at home unaccompanied for long periods of time, they can often become bored and lonely. Check with your neighbour to make sure they aren’t barking or whining for long periods that could disturb them. A long walk or exercise beforehand can help tire them out and enable them to settle. Some pets also respond well to the sound of a radio being left on low in the home, try selecting a calm station or a radio talk show to provide company.
- Check that your garden is secure when your dog is outside. Check for holes in the fences or gates, especially if you have a small dog. You might want to put wire over gates with gaps in them as very small dogs may be able to fit through the bars.
- Take your dog to the vet at least once a year. Regular check-ups are needed to ensure your dog is healthy and so that it can be treated for any problems.
- Take your dog for a walk at least twice a day to physically and mentally exercise them. A tired dog is an obedient dog. Without proper exercise, your dog will become bored and many behaviour problems may arise (chewing, excessive barking, jumping and hyperactivity).
Want to keep a pet?
Read more about keeping a pet in your home.