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As a dog owner, you need to know about dog laws and your responsibilities to protect yourself and others around you.
Watch our video for helpful hints and tips on how you can be a responsible dog owner. This video is one minute and 19 seconds long.
If you do not license your dog, you may receive a £80 fixed penalty notice.
A dog's owner is responsible for their dog's waste. If dog foul is not picked up, the owner can receive a £80 fixed penalty notice.
You can report a dog owner for not picking up their dog's waste.
All dogs must be fitted with a microchip before licensing. Microchipping helps to identify dogs if they go missing.
Most vets offer a microchipping service.
The price will vary.
Groups like the Dogs Trust (link opens in new window) sometimes offer free or reduced prices.
You must always be in control of your dog (link opens in new window) and not let it stray. If your dog is straying, you may receive a £80 fixed penalty notice. This covers the Belfast City Council area, including all parks and open spaces. Dogs must be kept on a lead when out in public.
You can help reduce the number of stray dogs on our streets by:
When in public, you can not have more than four dogs under your control at any one time. If anyone is caught in control of more than four dogs at one time, they may receive a £80 fixed penalty notice.
The Dogs (Specified Maximum) (Belfast) Order 2012 was created under The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (NI) 2011 and covers the Belfast City Council area, including all parks and open spaces.
It's important to care for your dog when taking them out by car during the warmer months. In as little as 15 minutes a dog could suffer heatstroke and die due to hot conditions in a car.
If your dog shows any symptoms of heatstroke, move him or her to a shaded, cool area and call your vet for advice immediately. Heatstroke can be fatal and should always be treated as an emergency.
If an animal dies in your house, you must make your own arrangements to dispose of it. You are allowed to bury pet animals.
You can report a dead animal on the road or street to our Street Cleansing team.
For more guidance about safe disposal of a dead animal, you can visit GOV.uk
There are specific requirements for greyhounds, whippet and lurcher type dogs.
Greyhound within the meaning of the legislation includes any greyhound or whippet and any breed, strain, or cross thereof. A lurcher is a cross-breed of a greyhound or whippet and therefore is covered by this legislation. Failure to comply with the above requirements may result in a £80 fixed penalty notice
Owning a puppy or dog is a big commitment and before you buy one, there are a few things to consider:
The law says you must look after your animal by making sure it:
For more information and advice, get in touch.
Dog control, Ground Floor, Cecil Ward Building, 4-10 Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 8BP