Responsible Dog Ownership
Dog ownership and the Law
Your legal responsibilities as a dog owner are as follows:
- Your dog must wear a collar, showing your name and address, when in a public place (even if the dog is tattooed or microchipped.)
- You must clean up your dog's mess. If you fail to pick up and dispose of your dog's mess, you can be issued with a fixed penalty of £50 or if prosecuted with a maximum court fine of £1000 and a criminal record.
- Stray dogs picked up by the dog warden will incur a charge before being reunited with the owner.
- If your dog causes injury or damage to a person, property or livestock, you may have to pay compensation.
- It is an offence for any dog to be 'dangerously out of control' in a public place.
- You can be prosecuted if your dog is a nuisance to your neighbours, with a maximum fine of £5,000.
All dogs must be microchipped by 6 April 2016
The Law is changing about dog microchipping. All dogs must be microchipped by 6 April 2016. There will be a fine of up to £500 for failure to microchip. See our microchipping page for further information.
Dog ownership code of conduct
A guide to responsible dog ownership:
- Check that any identification product (microchip or ID tag)your dog has is kept up-to-date.
- Make sure your dog does not approach other people or dogs on leads without permission.
- Always keep your dog under proper control.
- Never let your dog off the lead near farm animals.
- Never leave dogs in cars, even in mild weather.
- Always put your dog in a crate or a seat belt harness when travelling.
- Register your dog with a vet and go for regular checks ups and inoculations.
- Treat and check regularly for fleas and worms.
- Never leave your dog tied up outside a shop.
- Train your dog to be sociable.
- Groom your dog regularly and keep them clean.
- Choose toys wisely as wooden sticks can cause serious injuries, or death.
- Feed your dog at regular times with a nutritionally balanced diet
- Neutering is always advisable unless you want to breed from your dog.
- Always clear up after your dog. Scoop the poop.
- Stop your dog from barking too much.
- Make sure someone responsible looks after your dog when you are away and that they have the contact details of your vet.