Your dog may be your best friend, but responsible pet ownership makes you a good neighbour.

Keith Scott, the city’s coordinator of animal control, said common pet issues include excessive barking, dog control, defecation, and licensing.

Barking can become a problem, but owners can address it through socialization, training, and exercise. Additionally, owners must control their dog by leashing them when off the property (unless in an off-leash area), securing the yard, and being able to recall the dog.

“When you’re walking your dog, make sure it’s on a short leash,” said Scott. Dogs also aren’t allowed on school yards, golf courses, playgrounds, or sports fields.

And of course, pick up after your pet.

“Make sure yards are clean,” said Scott. “When you are walking, pick up defecation immediately. You want to make sure public property is clean and safe.”

If your pet gets loose, licensing it helps the city identify and return your pet quickly. If you see a dog running loose, determine if it’s friendly. If it is, secure it, call 311, and an animal control officer will pick it up. If it isn’t friendly, call 311 and an animal control officer will locate and secure the dog.

Talk to the pet owner if you find him or her leaving pet waste on the sidewalk. | Karen Mykietka

Pet owners may want to familiarize themselves with city bylaws. For example, pet owners can be fined $100 for leaving a dog off-leash or not picking up animal waste.

Before calling 311, approach the pet owner. If a conversation doesn’t work, make a complaint by calling 311. Animal control officers will speak to the pet owner and try to educate him or her.

“If the pet owner doesn’t comply, we will issue a fine based on a case-by-case basis,” said Scott.

Find bylaws and rules on the city website. The Animal Care and Control Centre also gives advice and the Edmonton Humane Society has information on responsible pet ownership.

Featured Image: It’s important to pick up after your pet. | Talea Medynski