Owning a dog involves responsibilities as well as pleasures. The following basic tips can help prevent your dog from causing a nuisance:
- Train your dog in elementary obedience, so that it is under control at all times
- Make sure your dog is identified, at least with a collar and tag, and has been microchipped
- It is now a legal requirement in East Devon to always keep your dog on a lead on roads and on pavements next to roads. You should also keep your dog on a lead where there are other animals, for example when walking on a footpath through a livestock field
- Make sure that your garden is properly fenced so that your dog can't escape. Never let your dog out on its own, but take it for properly controlled exercise.
- Always carry a bag you can use to pick up after your dog. Take the waste home to your black rubbish bin or sack or use a litter or dog waste bin. Even better, train your dog to 'go at home'.
- Don't let your dog bark constantly -a well-trained dog is not one that barks at everyone and everything. Dogs that are kept outside for long periods often bark more. Find out when and why your dog barks and take steps to prevent it. We can give advice in the worst cases
- Don't leave your dog alone for long periods; dogs are pack animals and need companionship. Remember - you have a duty of care under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
- Keep your dog healthy, with regular feeding, worming, exercise, grooming and vaccinations. Make sure your dog has bedding which is clean, warm and dry and that fresh drinking water is always available
- Never leave your dog alone in a hot car, they can become dehydrated and even die in a very short time
- Sign up to Devon Loves Dogs www.devonlovesdogs.co.uk/joinus It’s a free membership scheme for dog owners and dog walkers. You will get helpful tips on where to walk your dog and how to care for our beautiful coast and countryside. Join one of our free, regular waggywalks around the area. You can get a free goodie bag too!
Remember, dogs live for about 14 years, so think hard before you take on such a responsibility. If you can no longer keep your dog, contact a re-homing charity or environmental health on 01395 517456 for help. Do not put your dog out onto the street where it could be injured or cause an accident.
Want to know more about responsible dog ownership? See our “Daily Wag” newsletter