Exercising your dog during COVID-19 restrictions
Physical activity is important for both humans and animals. Councils are urging dog owners to be more diligent in maintaining the health and safety of not only themselves but also their pets.
Essential Health and Safety precautions:
- Wash your hands for 20-30 seconds before and after each walk.
- Surfaces such as park benches, tables, taps, bins, fences and gates should also be avoided. If you need to touch a surface, ensure that you are wearing disposable gloves or carrying hand sanitizer to disinfect the surface and your hands.
- Observe the two-person limit and social distancing when walking a dog.
The government restrictions during COVID-19 outline that cars are only to be used for essential travel, which means owners who prefer to drive to enclosed dog parks, will need to change their routines to exercise their dogs in walking distance from their homes.
Many dogs love visiting 'off-leash' parks because it gives them the chance to socialise with other dogs. However, during this time, it is advised that you maintain social distance restrictions until the situation is under control.
How many dogs am I allowed to keep on my residential property?
On a property that is less that half a hectare (5000 m2) in size, the maximum number of dogs that can be kept without an excess animal permit is two.
Excess animal permits
If you want to keep more than two dogs, an excess animals permit needs to be applied for. The permit costs $87 (pension card holders can receive a 50% discount) and needs to paid when applying. Consent of all adjoining neighbours is required
The permit fee is for the lifetime of the animals on the permit and does not need to be renewed annually. If your number of animals change, just contact Council so we can update your records and ensure the permit is still valid.
Local Laws fact sheet - number of animals (PDF - 109 KB)
Application for excess animal permit (Word - 1.1 MB)
Confine your dogs to the backyard
Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, all dog owners must securely confine dogs to the property. This means your yard must have a closed gate and an escape-proof fence that your dog cannot jump, get under or through.
If securely confined, your dog will be safe from traffic injuries or fights with other dogs. It will also be prevented from wandering and becoming lost.
It's also easy to prevent most dog attacks in public places, just by confining dogs. That's good news for the reputation of our pets and for responsible dog owners. A dog of any size or breed can become aggressive when defending its territory or owners. Even a friendly dog may guard the area on or around its property, especially when you are not present.
So for the safety of your dog and everyone else, remember to confine your dog. Backyard is best!
Housing your dog
If you wish to keep your dog in a secure enclosure in your property, to ensure that neighbours are not affected by noise or offensive smells, there are restrictions as to where you can place dog enclosures and conditions under which you must maintain the area in which your dog is kept:
- The area in which your dog is kept must be kept clean at all times
- Enclosure must be placed no less than 6 metres from the frontage of the land
- Enclosure must be placed no less than 1 metres from any boundary
- Enclosure must be placed no less than 3 metres from any dwelling
If you have any complaints regarding dog odours on a property, please contact Council or fill in an online report form for a local law officer to investigate.
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons and it is important to find out why and then try to resolve the issue in a friendly manner wherever possible. However, if the barking continues to be an issue, Council can investigate.
To find out more about how to deal with barking dogs, please see our barking dogs page.
If a dog that rushes at, attacks, bites, or chases any person or other animal, the owner can be liable for any damage caused by the conduct of that dog. If you are the victim of a dog attack, contact Council on 8571 1000 immediately.
More information on dog attacks
Dangerous and menacing dogs
A dangerous dog is a dog that council has declared to be dangerous because it has attacked a person or animal and has caused serious injury, or a dog which is kept as a guard dog in a shop or factory.
A menacing dog is one which has been out and rushed at a person while growling and barking but has not actually attacked. Council may decide this dog presents a danger to the public and declare it a menacing dog.
If a dog has been declared dangerous by Council, the owners of these dogs must, by law, take precautions in the way they keep and control their dogs to ensure the safety of the community.
More information on dangerous and menacing dogs
Dog off-leash parks
The City of Greater Dandenong recognises the clear health and social benefits in owning a pet and encourages responsible dog ownership.
One of the key components to maintaining a healthy and socially acceptable dog is good regular exercise. To assist residents in this important task, the council has created a number of areas within the municipality where dogs can be exercised off-leash.
More information on dog off-leash parks
Smart Puppy and Dog Buyer's Guide
To help educate our community about the importance of adopting or buying from responsible breeders, the RSPCA has launched a new online and interactive "Smart Puppy and Dog Buyer’s Guide".
The Guide provides vital information for all prospective pet owners in our community about the steps to preparing and caring for a new dog, considering adoption and how to find a responsible breeder to ensure you take home a happy, healthy and well-adjusted puppy or dog.
The guide is located on the RSPCA website www.RSPCAPuppyGuide.com.au