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  • intouch Magazine

HAVE A FUR BABY? Be the best parent to your pooch

Being a responsible dog owner and taking the best care of your dog is easy. Here are 6 things you can do to be the best parent to your fur baby:

  • Always clean up after your dog, pick up poo when out and about

  • Always keep your dog on a leash in public unless you are in an off-leash are

  • Make sure your dog can be identified with a collar, tag and microchip

  • Register your dog with Council so it can be identified if it becomes lost

  • Keep your dog in your yard

  • Consider desexing your dog

Newcastle City Council rangers are out in the community to provide advice on being a responsible dog owner and to make sure everyone is doing the right thing.

Council offers a number of companion animal brochures and information on their website,, which you may find useful. You can download brochures on specific topics from the website. For more specific questions you can contact Council's Regulatory Services team on 4974 2000.

Footloose and leash free - Give your dog some space to run at Newcastle's off-leash areas, where dogs are allowed to be exercised off leash. Make sure your dog is kept under effective control by a competent person at all times. Dogs are permitted off leash between sunrise and sunset only except in time restricted areas.

You can find a listing of all off leash areas - as well as the rules for using them - on Council's website. Obeying the rules for off-leash areas makes it a more enjoyable experience for you and your pet.

Doggie dining al fresco - Do you love to take your pooch out and about? Wish Fido could come along when you're dining out? Dogs are now allowed in many kerbside outdoor dining areas. Your dog can join you for al fresco dining if you:

  • Keep your dog on a lead and on the ground

  • Do not feed your dog on the premises

  • Have the restaurant owner's permission.

Registering Rex (and all dogs) - All dogs and cats are required to be registered - the registry is designed to return lost pets to their owners and to promote responsible pet ownership in the community. You can register your pet online at the NSW Pet Registry, in person at Council's Administration Centre and at any RSPCA centre. All puppies born or dogs purchased must also be permanently identified with a microchip by 12 weeks of age, point of sale, OR change of ownership, whichever occurs first. Note that microchipping does not take the place of council registration - you must still register your pet at six months of age.

Tag up - When dogs or cats are in a public place, they must wear an identification disc on their collar that is engraved with their name and their owner's contact number and/or address. All cats that are allowed to roam should wear a collar and tag.

Desexing for a better pet - All owners are encouraged to desex their animals. There are many positive reasons:

  • Early desexing eliminates the risk of serious diseases including reproductive cancers

  • Desexed dogs grow up cleaner, healthier, quieter and more home loving

  • Desexed dogs will not gain weight unless they are overfed and under-exercised

  • Desexed dogs are less aggressive and make much safer family pets.

Thousands of unwanted puppies and dogs are destroyed by animal welfare agencies each year because there are simply not enough homes for them.

Bringing up baby (with pooch) - Pets and children can form a beautiful close bond, and it is heart-warming to watch them interact. Parents are the first and most influential educators in their child’s life journey. Teaching your child about the responsibilities of pet ownership begins from an early age as you nurture and guide their experiences with their pets, as well as how to interact with animals they do not know.

We Are Family is a helpful guide from the Office of Local Government that provides tips for parents in nurturing the child and pet relationship from pregnancy to preschool. You can find and download the brochure at

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