Dog-Law Abiding Citizen – Are you breaking the law?

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5 Reasons why being a responsible dog owner means you #scoopyourpoop.

1. Leaving dog faeces in public is against the law. 

Law Yes, we all know it’s unsightly and bad manners to leave your dog’s business without scooping it up. But it is actually against the law – specifically, your legal bible being: the Companion Animals Act 1998. Heavy stuff, people, so get on scooping.

2. Failure to pick up after your pet in public areas can incur on-the-spot fines.

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A minimum of $275 to be exact in Sydney. For those students out there, transit officers’ fines are one fine too many. Don’t add another one to your minus-savings account!

3. Leaving dog faeces in areas where dogs are prohibited will risk a double fine – including children’s play areas and school grounds. Mums with bubs and pups – be aware!

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  1. Dog faeces pollutes waterways when washed in by rainwater, effecting water quality and habitat for native animals, and can make beaches and rivers unsafe for swimming. Don’t do it.

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5. Leaving dog faeces is dangerous – injuries can occur from slipping in dog faeces.

It’s true, and it’s a real concern – coming straight from the City of Sydney guide to Dog Waste. Karma’s warning you, dog-owners!

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Top 5 dog friendly off-leash spots in Sydney

We’re all guilty of coming home to our beloved canine, knowing they’ve spent yet another day sitting by the window or the backyard gate waiting for us, yet we fail to treat them to a walk. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most dog-friendly off-leash areas of Sydney. Our pleasure.

1. Centennial Parklands, Sydney

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City location, lush greenery, mangroves in the lake, rows of trees for a good sniff, trees, grass, green – you get the idea. Dogs love to explore nature, and what better way to do it than off-leash! After a long day of playing in the dun, wind down at Wolf Cafe, where you can tie your dog up and have a coffee with fellow dog-owners.

Click here for a map of the off-leash and on-leash areas.

2. Bronte Park and Gully, Bronte

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If being close to the water tickles your dog’s fancy, jump onto the 12 month off-leash trial at Bronte Park and Gully from 3pm-10am. It’s the perfect combo of greenery and beach-ery to make the most of Sydney’s sunny days! Support the trial which ends in December 2014, and who knows, your visit there might just encourage the council to make it an off-leash spot permanently!

Click here for a map of the designated off-leash/on-leash areas.

3. Camperdown Memorial Rest Park, Camperdown

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This is one of PledgeForPaw’s favs and a hit with the locals. A designated area bound by Federation Road, Church Street, the St Stephens Church wall and the diagonal path leading from the church boundary to Federation Road is a timed off leash dog exercise area between the hours of 5pm and 9am every day – perfect for after work-walks or morning-people! 

4. Henley Park, Enfield

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For those in the inner-west suburbs, Henley Park is your one-stop shop for having a killer day with your dog and family. There’s a designated off-leash area, a running track spanning the whole park, bbq facilities and a public pool for some fun in the sun with your family and friends.    Feel free to pop by the Flower Power after your walk and tick off ‘gardening’ on your to-do list too!

5. Rowland Reserve, Bayview

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For those situated closer to the northern suburbs of Sydney, Rowland Reserve is your go-to off leash area. Your pooch is treated to the luxury of choosing whether to play in the park or swim at the beach, and who’s to say you can’t join in the fun too!

If you have any suggestions, comment below and share your thoughts with fellow Sydney-siders!

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Dog Walking – A chore?

-30 minutes a day ✔ 5 times a week ✔-

With a pooch comes the automatic thought that as the owner, you “have to” take it for a walk. For many, we then think it’s another chore on your list of things to do.

The short answer is yes, a responsible dog owner will (should and must) walk their dog. However, it’s really easy to forget to understand the true importance of taking your dog out for a walk, so let us remind you…

1. Better physical well-being

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Obesity isn’t only a problem for humans, but dogs too! Obesity in pets is associated with a number of medical complaints including:osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and insulin resistance. These problems can take a heavy toll on your pet and on yourself (no pun intended), so take the #pledgeforpaws to avoid obesity in your dog by taking them for their well-deserved walks.

2. Better mental well-being

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Physical stimulation allows dogs to expend their excess energy which helps them stay happy and out of trouble. Happy dog, happy owner!

Exposing your pooch to people, other dog-friends,  new environments and situations are crucial for their growth and ability to pick up ‘social etiquette’ cues in public. Aside from socialising with other humans/dogs, you are setting aside time to bond with your dog, and they’ll love you more for it!

3. Good for YOUR health too!

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Walking your dog isn’t only beneficial for them but also for you. Who doesn’t like a WinWin situation?

The non-judgemental companionship and unconditional love offered by pets is known to have considerable mental health benefits for owners, including increased self-esteem.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that if people incorporate 30 minutes of exercise five days every week they can benefit from:

  • Reduced breast cancer by 75%
  • Reduced risk of diabetes by 49%
  • Reduced risk of heart disease by 35%
  • Reduced risk of colon cancer by 22%

To end on a high note, here’s some handy dog-walking tips for your next walk:

  1. Let’s aim for 30 minute walks, at least! Five times every week. You can do it!
  2. Remember to keep your dog on a leash, unless you’re in designated off-leash parks. Safety for all comes first.
  3. Supervision is vital! Keep your eye on children and other dogs.
  4. Remember to scoop their poop. Keep a plastic bag handy on your lead at all times for unforeseen poops emergencies.
  5. Keep hydrated. Not only for your dog but also for you.

In true #PledgeForPaws fashion let’s take the pledge,

I, *insert name*, will (attempt) to walk my dog for (at least) 30 minutes a day, five times a week, for the greater good of myself and my dog.

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The Pledge for Paws Initiative!

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What is Pledge for Paws?

Pledge for Paws is an initiative launched by two university students in Sydney (and fellow all-things-dog lovers) to encourage dog owners in Sydney to #take the pledge of being more responsible for their dogs, and consequently, create safer and dog-lurvin’ communities.

What’s the problem?

Media coverage of dog attacks and anti-social behaviour points the finger at dog breeds, rather than focusing on a dog owner’s responsibility to educate themselves on dog-rearing skills for a well trained companion. We aim to take a light-hearted approach to shifting the conversation away from blaming your loved companions, and rather, promote education for dog owners and let the good-dog-lovin’ times roll.

How do I get involved! (In three simple steps)

Step 1: Put your hand on your heart, and the other hand on your dog and take the #pledgeforpaws.

Step 2: Say out loud “I will be more active in educating myself about what it means (and how) to be responsible for my dog(s)”.

(Other alternatives may include “I love you man”/ “I’ll remember to scoop your poop”/ “Let’s go for a walk and get that Vit-D goodness” etc.)

Step 3: Go out with your companion, and show em’ how you take the cake for Best Dog Owner Ever Award. Your fellow neighbours/park locals/dog lovers/family and friends will see how great you are with your dog, and as you share tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to creating more dog-friendly communities in Sydney!

Take the Pledge (online)! 

  1. Like our Facebook page here  to follow the initiative (and your daily dose of dog meems)!
  2. Tweet us @pledgeforpaws and we’ll return the love
  3. Keep reading our blog!

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