Responsible dog ownership
15 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
A collar and tag can save you money if you lose your dog in Chesterfield. It is an offence for a dog to not be wearing a collar and tag.
If the dog control officers find a dog with a collar and tag they will, on the first occasion and if possible, return him to his rightful owner. In this instance, there is a £25 fine payable by the owner of a seized dog in line with Regulation 2 of the Environmental Protection (Stray Dogs) Regulations 1992.
Any strays that we cannot identify are kennelled for eight days from the date of capture. 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 rehome the dog.
Council park rangers and enforcement officers are supporting the Yellow Dog initiative. This was created to bring awareness to dogs who need space while training, recovering from surgery, or 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.
Speak to a park ranger or an enforcement officer when you see them and they will be able to tell you more about the project and provide a yellow ribbon if needed. Visit the website for more resources.
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.
- It may make your pet calmer and lessen their aggression.
- It will stop male dogs running off and may make them more sociable and easier to handle.
Your spayed female will not attract the unwanted attention of males and will stop having twice annual seasons.
- The chance of your pet developing a disease associated with the reproductive system will be far less likely.
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.