BEING A CONSIDERATE PET OWNER
Pet ownership is a personal choice and whilst pets are great for some, it is also a fact that not everyone likes or enjoys pets. Being conscious of how our pets affect others can help to avoid conflicts and unhappiness, contributing to pleasant neighbourly relations and a good living environment.
• A common complaint is excessive dog barking. Dogs use their bark as a form of communication, such as to alert owners or when they are excited or bored. Generally, the use of training and socialisation together is the best way to control barking. Obedience training will help the dog understand and obey commands such as “Quiet” and socialisation will help it understand when barking is appropriate. Find out more about training before you start.
• Birds such as parrots (e.g: cockatoos, macaws) can make very loud squawking noises. Ensure you have sufficient time before getting one as these social birds need a lot interaction and commitment from their owners.
• Caterwauling, the loud screaming or crying that cats make in a fight or in heat, can be avoided by keeping them indoors and having them sterilised.
• Cats’ meowing may not be as loud but it can become irritating if it is continuous. Usually, attending promptly to the cat’s needs, such as topping up the food/water bowl or cleaning the litter box solves the problem.
- Keep your pets under control
• Both cat and dog owners should keep their pets indoors. Not only is it dangerous for pets to be out by themselves, they may intrude into neighbouring properties and cause damage.
• In public places, dog owners are required by law to leash their dogs. Leashing prevents dogs from getting lost or disturbing/hurting others. When walking past other people or in enclosed places (e.g. lifts and staircases), owners should ensure their pets are close to their sides.
• Owners should ensure they have sufficient time to spend with their pets. Dogs should not be left alone at home for the entire day.
• Obedience training is a good idea for dogs as it helps your pet understand what is acceptable behaviour. Remember that this involves learning how to work with your dog as a team in a owner-dog partnership. Remember that you will need to keep doing refresher training at home to keep the lessons learnt fresh.
• Non-pet owners should also refrain from approaching or touching a pet without the owner’s permission.
• During walks, owners should clean up after their pets when their pets defecate in public places. Not doing so can lead to foul smells, staining, transmission of infectious/parasitic diseases and fly nuisance.
• Owners should not allow their pets to dirty common areas such as corridors and lift landings. Such areas are also not suitable for keeping cages housing pets.
• Within the home, owners should keep their pets clean and maintain proper husbandry and hygiene practices. Otherwise, the smell will disturb your neighbours too.
In addition, people can be disturbed or irritated by your pet in ways that you have not noticed or realised before. Identify the root of the problem and see whether it can be resolved by spending more time with the pet, ensuring all its needs are met, or training the pet.
Be a considerate pet owner and everyone will be happy, including your pet!