A dog is for life not just for Christmas! 

10th November 2022

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A dog is not just for Christmas

A dog is for life not just for Christmas! 

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is taking the opportunity to highlight to prospective dog owners the duties of being a responsible dog owner.

With the Christmas season approaching, many people may be considering buying a dog as a gift for the family.  This can be a great experience and lead to a long and happy friendship between the dog and its new family.  However, it also brings with it many additional responsibilities which should be considered before making the purchase.

All dogs need to be walked every day, regardless of the weather.  This helps to prevent them from becoming bored and being destructive in the house or barking too much which would disturb neighbours.  Exercise is also important to ensure the  dog is healthy.

Being a responsible dog owner also means you need to clean up after your dog.  It is important to remember to always carry poo bags to lift dog foul when you are out walking and in your garden.

Dogs are also an ongoing financial commitment in terms of obtaining a dog licence, buying food, grooming and veterinary checks, which can amount to significant sums.

If you are ready to take on these additional responsibilities and decide to purchase a dog, remember the PAWS For Thought campaign.  This is a multi-agency campaign between Councils, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the PSNI to ensure people are buying dogs from registered dog breeders.

The Council recommends caution when viewing online advertisements. Prospective dog owners should be able to go to the breeder’s premises and see the mother with the puppies.  This means you can see at first hand that the puppies are from a healthy and safe place.  It is also recommended that you buy a puppy that is at least 8 weeks old or more and that you ask for the veterinary records and details of any initial vaccinations.

The Council would strongly urge prospective dog owners to consider giving a home to a rescue dog from one of our partner rehoming centres, Bright Eyes Animal Sanctuary in Ballinamallard and Grovehill Animal Trust in Omagh or from the Dogs Trust.

When you have purchased your new dog, you need to ensure it is microchipped and licensed.  Dog licences can be purchased online at https://www.fermanaghomagh.com/services/do-it-online/dog-licensing/www.fermanaghomagh.com or by contacting 0300 303 1777.

If you are sure you will be able to fulfil the duties of being a responsible dog owner, then you will have a companion for life.