Are you thinking of buying a puppy this Christmas for a loved one or a family member?
With the festive season fast approaching, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council wants to remind members of the public about the responsibilities which come with owning a dog.
While getting a new pet can be a wonderful experience, it’s important to be mindful of your obligations as a dog owner.
All dogs need to be walked every day, no matter what the weather is or how busy you are. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise can become bored and engage in destructive behaviour like chewing furniture and barking which may annoy your neighbours. Your dog will need to go to the toilet and you will have to lift its poop from your garden or carry bags for when you are out and about. It’s an offence to allow your dog to foul and then fail to pick it up.
It’s important to remember that there are ongoing financial costs associated with keeping a dog, including buying its food, regular vet checks or veterinary treatment for injuries or disease.
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council recommends that you only buy from a registered dog breeder. You should be able to go to the breeder’s premises and see the parent dogs and be satisfied you are buying from a healthy and safe place. All puppies should be at least 8 weeks old before you can take them home and the breeder should be able to show you any relevant vaccinations records. Do not buy a puppy that looks sick, underweight or too young.
All puppies have to be microchipped in order for you to obtain a dog licence. You can licence your dog online at www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk or for more information ring 028 2766 0233.
If you are sure you can walk, care for and feed your dog daily, and can afford to pay veterinary costs, grooming and food bills then a dog could be a well behaved companion who is content and happy.
Remember, a dog is for life, not just for Christmas