Dog Ownership

Council requires all dogs to be microchipped and registered. You can also read about how to deal with barking dogs.

The Petcare Information and Advisory Service (PIAS) have an online guide to help city-dwellers make informed decisions about dog and cat ownership. The guide has tips on choosing a dog, socialisation and detailed information on caring for your pet.

Walking your dog in public areas

If your dog is in a public area it must be on a leash and controlled effectively by a competent person. Otherwise your dog needs to be confined to your property, not wandering around public or private property.

Your dog must not enter:

  • Eating areas
  • School or childcare grounds
  • Wildlife protection areas
  • Within ten metres of children’s playground equipment.

Council has established off-leash areas where you can let your dog excercise under supervision. 

Cleaning up after your dog

It is the responsibility of owners to clean up after their dog if it leaves waste in public areas. Dog poo on roads, footpaths and parks is a common source of complaint to Council. Council’s Rangers can fine owners who don’t clean up after their dog. The Companion Animals Act dictates a $275 fine for failing to remove dog faeces.

When it rains, your dog's waste gets washed down the stormwater drains and into the nearest creek. It ends up in either Middle Harbour or the Lane Cove River. There is a high level of nutrients in dog droppings, and this contributes to toxic algal blooms and aquatic weeds in our waterways. These blooms and weeds harm the marine organisms that keep our creeks healthy. Plus, dog droppings contain bacteria that can be harmful to people. They can contain infectious roundworm eggs that can cause serious illnesses.

When walking your dog, carry bags to collect your dog’s droppings and put them in the bin. Don’t let your dog out unsupervised or let it poo on your neighbour’s lawn. Take responsibility for your animal; it’s something that comes along with pet ownership.

Plastic-Free Dog Waste Bags

Willoughby City Council has been providing dog tidy bags in many of our off-leash dog parks to encourage responsible dog ownership. Following a recent growth in understanding of the detrimental impacts of plastics on our environment, we have started trialling new plastic-free dog waste bags in all of our dispensers, which are made from corn and are 100% biodegradable and compostable. Unfortunately, as it still takes a long time for biodegradable bags to break down and if they end up in our waterways they still are a major threat to marine life, it is important to always dispose of the bags properly in a red bin. If you have tried the new bags, please provide us with feedback on 9777 1000 or at email@willoughby.nsw.gov.au.