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Responsible Dog Ownership

The Borough Council’s Wardens can provide dog related advice on most issues.

General Dog Ownership Advice

Listed below is our general advice to dog owners.

  • You should make sure that your dog is registered with a reputable vet, A good vet will be able to give you useful information (such as how often your dog needs to be wormed, when vaccinations are due and whether your dog needs to be neutered or not).
  • You should think about having your dog microchipped. This will help with identification if your dog is lost or stolen.
  • It is very important that your dog gets a lot of regular exercise. However, if you are exercising your dog in the park, or in open spaces, always remember that there are other people who have the right to use public facilities.
  • You are legally responsible for your dog. If your dog causes a road accident, or damages property, you have to cover any costs.
  • It is an offence to allow your dog to foul in a public place and not clear it up. Always carry a poop-scoop or plastic bag when exercising your dog.
  • You should feed your dog regularly and healthily. You should also make sure you wash your dog's bowl thoroughly after use.
  • Make sure your dog always has a plentiful supply of fresh water.
  • Never leave a dog locked in a car. Even on cooler days, the temperature in a car can reach levels that prove fatal to dogs. †And leaving the window open won’t make a difference. See our Dogs Die in Hot Cars page for further details.
  • You should make sure that your dog is house-trained and obedient enough to follow simple commands (such as 'come', 'sit' and 'stay'). We can put you in touch with your nearest registered dog-training club.
  • Barking can annoy your neighbours. You may not be aware of the problem, particularly if you leave your dog for long periods. You should check with your neighbours to make sure that they have no problems. We can give you advice and help with any dog-barking problem. In severe cases, your neighbours can complain to The Council who can take legal action against you under the Environmental Act 1996

Wear a Yellow Ribbon to warn others

The Dog Warden Service supports the Yellow Dog initiative. This was created to bring awareness to dogs which need space while training, recovering from surgery, or being rehabilitated.

If you see a dog with a YELLOW ribbon, bandana or similar on the lead or on the dog, this is a dog which 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 Dog Warden when you see them and they will be able to tell you more about the project. There are more details at, or you can download their leaflet here.


Consider having your dog neutered/castrated. This will help stop straying in male dogs and reduce unwanted litters of puppies

Toxocara - the facts

Many people do not understand why it is so important to clean up after dogs. We are very concerned about dog fouling because it can cause illness and disease. Toxocara eggs are present in the faeces (mess) of dogs that are not regularly wormed or vaccinated, or pregnant bitches or puppies. You can catch toxocariasis if you swallow toxocara eggs.

Children and toddlers are the most at risk (as they often play on the ground and put their fingers in their mouths) but adults can also catch toxocariasis.

This is why we are committed to educating dog owners and enforcing the law. Please clean up after your dog.

More Advice

Other sources of information include:

  • Your vet
    • Advice line: 0300 1234 555
  • The Kennel Club
    • 0870 606 6750

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