Dogs are affectionate and loyal creatures and make great family pets. They also need and deserve a lot of care and attention and if neglected can become a nuisance.
Dog Owner Responsibilities
As a dog owner, you have a number of legal and moral responsibilities to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet and others.
All dog owners should ensure that their dogs:
- are registered and micro chipped
- receive proper care, attention, nutrition and shelter
- are adequately exercised – check out where your local dog exercise areas are
- are kept under control at all times - this means ensuring the dog obeys your commands and is either on a leash or under voice control in areas where it is allowed to run free
- do not cause a nuisance to neighbouring residents (this includes the dog owner’s responsibility to clean up after his/her dog if it fouls in public)
- do not injure or distress any livestock, people or property
To be on the safe side: it is always best to avoid letting your dog run free in areas where small children, livestock, poultry or protected wildlife are present. There are a number of dog exercise areas where you can exercise your dog off a leash.
How to Microchip your Dog
Dogs registered for the first time after 1 July 2006 are required by law to be micro-chipped (livestock working farm dogs are exempt). It is a good idea to microchip your dog anyway to ensure it is easily identified and quickly returned to you if lost. Your veterinarian can microchip your dog for a small fee.
If any unregistered dog is impounded it must then be micro-chipped. Any registered dogs impounded more than once are also required to be micro-chipped.