The month of May brings National Walking month to the UK, Living Streets is challenging the nation to #Try20, encouraging everyone to try and fit 20 minutes walking into their day.
Just 20 minutes walking helps you feel fitter, brighter, and increases metabolism.
Walking your dog is a great way to spend time outside, but do you know whether you’re following the law when you’re taking your dog out? Dog laws are put in place to ensure responsible pet ownership and safety for those who interact with it.
Laws for controlling dogs
It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, such as:
- in a public place
- in a private place, eg a neighbour’s house or garden
- in the owner’s home
Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:
- injures someone
- makes someone worried that it might injure them
A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if either of the following apply:
- it attacks someone’s animal
- the owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal
The penalties for an out of control dog are an unlimited fine or a prison sentence of up to 6 months (or both) and if you let your dog injure someone you can be sent to prison for up to 5 years or fined (or both).
Your dog is ‘under control’ if it is being held on the lead by someone who is able to use equal force to restrain the dog if it tries to pull away.
There are certain things which will call for a fixed penalty as an alternative to prosecution. These offences are:
- keeping a dog without a licence
- failing to keep a dog under control on certain roads and where livestock is present
- failing to display identification information on a collar/tag
- failing to notify the council of the transfer of a dog whose licence is subject to a control condition
- contravention of any control condition
- and from the 6th of April in the UK failing to have your dog microchipped and its ownership details recorded on a database
The default level for a fixed penalty is £75, although a council may set its own level from £50 to £80.
The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 means that a dog owner found not clearing up after their dog can receive a penalty up to £1000.
Barking and Dagenham are running a pioneering programme of dog DNA tests to catch owners who do not clear up after their pets’ fouling.
Being aware of the laws that affect you and your dog allow a more responsible dog owner and encourages others to do the same. PetSafe® are dedicated to promoting safe and healthy pets and owners.