Owning a dog can be very rewarding and enjoyable, but it is a serious long-term commitment.
Make sure you do the best for your dog by being a responsible owner.
Fifteen ways to be a responsible dog owner
- Choose the right breed and gender for your life style and your property.
- Consider buying a rescue dog, or go to a reputable breeder and see both parents.
- Ensure your dog is fully vaccinated, wormed and treated for fleas.
- Make sure your dog is microchipped (it is now a legal requirement).
- If you move house, make sure the contract details on the microchip database are kept up to date (this is also a legal requirement).
- Make sure your dog has a collar and a tag with the correct contact details on (this is also a legal requirement).
- Your dog needs regular exercise and this is essential for its well-being.
- Ensure your dog has the correct diet for its lifestyle (a very active dog needs more protein than a dog that isn’t so active).
- Make sure your dog has a comfortable bed and fresh water every day.
- Always pick up after your dog and dispose of waste in the correct manner (dog bins, wheelie bins or any other bin – make sure you bag it up).
- Socialise your dog as much as you can (eg training classes).
- Be aware of the yellow ribbon campaign. If a dog wears a yellow ribbon do not approach.
- If your dog goes missing make sure you know who to contact. You can report missing, lost and stray dogs here
- Consider taking out pet insurance (vet bills can be very expensive).
- Arrange for end of life care. When the time comes remember your dog has been your best friend and deserves not to suffer.
Walking your dog
Responsible owners walk their dogs on the highway on a lead just in case. They know that even the most reliable family pet can be tempted to run after a cat and it only takes a second to cause an accident.
Get to know the areas where you can and can't take your dog - find out more here.
Cleaning up after your dog
Responsible owners clean up after their dogs. It's not your dog's fault if it gets a call of nature while it's being taken for a walk. It can't clear up after itself either.
As a responsible dog owner it is your duty to clear up whenever your dog fouls on any open space in Chesterfield. Open space means any footpath, verge or road, as well as parks, playing fields and other open spaces with public access.
Be sympathetic to the feelings of others and keep your dog under control at all times. On the highway, in certain areas of parkland and in cemeteries you should always keep your dog on a lead.
Your dog's health
Responsible owners care for the health of their dogs – inoculations against disease, regular health checks and worming are an essential part of your dog's care. For advice, contact the dog control officers or your vet. You should worm your pet at least four times a year (ask your vet for advice about pregnant females and puppies).
Choosing your dog
Responsible owners choose their canine companion carefully. Think about the size and type of your home. How willing and able are you to exercise a dog? What sort of breed is most suitable? Some are prone to barking and some hate to be shut in.
Affording your dog
Responsible owners make sure they can afford their pets. During its lifetime, a dog will cost a considerable sum of money. You need to think about food, vet bills, insurance and kennels whilst you are away on holiday.
Dog collars and tags and microchipping
By law your dog must have been microchipped, the chip details must be up to date and it must also be wearing a collar and tag with your contact details on.
If we find a dog with a collar and tag/microchip we will try to return it to its owner; there is a £25 fee payable for the return of the dog.
Any stray dogs that we cannot reunite with their owners straight away are kept in kennels for seven days, and their owners must pay the return fee plus admin charges and kennelling costs before they can get their dog back. Owners reclaiming strays have to pay a minimum charge, an administration fee plus kennelling costs for the time the dog has been looked after. If it has not been reclaimed after the eight days, the kennels can rehome the dog.
Wear a yellow ribbon
We support the Yellow Dog initiative - this was created to bring awareness to dogs who need space while training, are recovering from surgery, or are being rehabilitated.
If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon, bandana or similar on the leash or on the dog, this is a dog that needs some space. Please do not approach this dog or its people with your dog. They are indicating that their dog cannot be close to other dogs.
How close is too close? Only the dog or his people know, so maintain distance and give them time to move out of your way.
Visit the Yellow Dog initiative website for more details.
Neuter your pet
Thousands of healthy pets are destroyed across the UK every year because there are not enough homes for them, costing the UK taxpayer millions of pounds in boarding fees, vets bills and warden services.
There are also behavioural and health benefits from neutering your pet.
Many charities offer help towards the financial costs of neutering, so take advice if you need help. Animals adopted from rescue centres are often already neutered. Vets also vary in the amount they charge for neutering. However, it remains the responsibility of the owner to neuter their pets and being able to afford the cost of neutering should be a consideration when taking a new dog on.