Buying or adopting a new pet is a delight, but it does come with responsibilities. Make sure you’re ready to take on an animal and that you have the right house for the breed you’re choosing. Find out what you can do to keep your pet, your neighbours and your community happy.


When you are out an about with your dog, make sure it is leashed and under effective control. Take your dog to dog friendly and unleashed parks and pick up your dog’s waste so nobody steps in it. 

Where Your Dog Can’t Go

Be a responsible dog owner and keep your dog out of food consumption areas, wildlife protection areas, school or children’s playgrounds or within 10 metres of children's play equipment. Look out for and observe dog prohibition areas. Fines may apply if your dog is found somewhere it shouldn’t be.

Considerations Before Buying a Dog

Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. Dogs need exercising as well as your time. Make sure you have the means to train, provide veterinary care and feed your dog for the next 15+ years. Finally, be sure everybody in your house will love and welcome your new pooch.

When Your Dog Comes Home

Bringing a new puppy or dog home is exciting. Check your yard is fenced so your dog can’t escape. Make sure you’re at home often with your dog or take it with you. Protect native animals and keep your dog in at night.

Barking Dogs

Barking occasionally is a natural response, however excessive barking around residential areas can be disruptive. If you are concerned about a dog barking, first speak to the owner as they may not be aware of the issue. For guidance on speaking with your neighbour we recommend you visit the Communities and Justice Centre. Welfare concerns should be directed to the RSPCA, the Animal Welfare League or NSW Police. Report a barking dog to Council.

Exercise Your Dog

Let your best friend let off steam in our dog exercise areas. Northern Beaches Council has a large number of areas to exercise your dog off the leash. There are also some exercise areas with restricted times. View all dog parks and find out the restrictions

The law requires that your dog must be under effective control at all times and that you dispose of dog poo in a suitable manner. For your convenience, Council has provided dog litter bins at some unleashed dog exercise areas.

Dog Attack

If you or your dog has been attacked then please report it to Council as a matter of urgency on 1300 434 434. See our help information about dog attacks.


Owning a cat is a big responsibility.  Although most cats make terrific companions, are fairly independent and easy to maintain, the decision to add another member to your family is an important one. Think carefully before buying a cat and never buy a pet impulsively.

Where Your Cat Can’t Go

Be a responsible cat owner and keep your cat out of wildlife protection areas, that is all national parks, most bushland areas and some parks and reserves. Keep your cat away from any area where an endangered species or other wildlife live. 

Considerations Before Buying a Cat

Owning a cat is a big responsibility. Make sure you have the means to provide veterinary care and food for your cat. Some cats can live more than 20 years so it is a true commitment. Finally, be sure everybody in your house will love and welcome your new feline.

When Your Cat Comes Home

Cats are hunters and an important factor in the decline of native animal populations. Northern Beaches Council encourages all cat owners to keep their cats indoors at night, to not feed stray cats and to have your cat cared for properly when you’re away on holidays.

Safe and Happy Cats

The RSPCA has produced Keeping Your Cat Safe and Happy At Home, which has plenty of helpful information on what you need to provide for your cat inside, and how you can even offer your cat safe access to fresh air and the outdoors. View the RSPCA website

Nuisance Cats

Cats who attack native wildlife, destroy property or cause too much noise are deemed a nuisance. Keep your cat indoors, especially at night. Cats are big sleepers so provide entertainment for them when they’re awake. Have a scratching post, shelves, and boxes to keep them amused. Keep a litter box for your cat inside. Report a nuisance cat.