Tips for pet owners

Safe Cats photo competition winners

Thanks to all who submitted photos for the Safe Cats photo competition.

We now have our 10 winners, who all received a $500 voucher towards a cat run for their furry friends.

View all winners and find out more about how to keep your pets safe and protect our wildlife below. The competition was funded through an Environmental Levy Grant and was a partnership between Ku-ring-gai Council, Catnets and Ku-ring-gai Bushcare Association.

It's a big responsibility keeping a pet. Some useful tips on making sure pet is happy and healthy.

Pet owner FAQs 

Dog owner tips 

  • Give your dog regular flea and worm treatments, health checks and vaccinations.
  • Teach your dog basic obedience such as 'come', 'sit' and 'stay'.
  • Microchip and register your dog.
  • Desex your dog if it won't be used for breeding.
  • Make sure your yard is safe and large enough for your dog.
  • Make sure your fencing is secure so your dog cannot stray.
  • Exercise your dog regularly (check out our off-leash dog parks).
  • Pick up after your dog in public places.
  • Teach your children how to behave around dogs.
  • Feed your dog a balanced and varied diet.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water at all times.
  • If you’re thinking of buying a dog, you might like to consider adopting one from the RSPCA or Pet Rescue.
  • Never buy a dog as a gift unless you have discussed it at length with the person beforehand - it's a big commitment.

Dog training - contact our local community dog training groups for assistance Northern Suburbs or Metropolitan Mid-Week dog training clubs.

View some simple tips that will help keep your family and the community safe(PDF, 982KB).

For more information on responsible dog ownership, please see our Are you a Responsible Dog Owner Flyer(PDF, 1MB).

Foods to Avoid Flyer(PDF, 1010KB)

Cat owner tips

  • Desex your cat
  • Microchip and register your cat
  • Have your cat wear a suitable collar, tag and bell
  • Feed your cat a balanced and nutritious diet
  • Provide fresh water at all times
  • Maintain your cat's health with regular worming, vaccinations and vet checks
  • Keep your cat indoors, particularly at night, and/or provide a cat run outdoors
  • Prevent your cat from coming into contact with native wildlife  
  • Teach your children how to behave around a cat
  • Stop your cat from wandering into prohibited public places including food preparation areas or wildlife protection zones - penalties apply
  • If you’re thinking of buying a cat, you might like to consider adopting one from the RSPCA or Pet Rescue
  • Never buy a cat as a gift unless you have discussed it at length with the person beforehand - it's a big commitment

For more information on responsible cat ownership, please see our Are you a Responsible Cat Owner Flyer(PDF, 506KB).

Chicken owner tips 

Keeping chickens is a great way to save money and provide your family with fresh, tasty eggs. Chicken droppings can also be used to enrich your compost.

On residential properties in Ku-ring-gai a maximum of 5 chickens and no roosters are generally permitted.

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 sets out the circumstances in which you can keep chickens in NSW and the construction requirements that apply to fowl and poultry houses. 

Fowl and poultry houses can be constructed without requiring development consent provided that they meet certain criteria. Some of the control standards are that the property:

  • Is zoned R1, R2, R3, R4, R5 or RU5. A DA is required if the property is in an E3 or E4 zone.
  • Only has one fowl and poultry house and it must be located in the rear yard and at least 3m from any adjoining property boundary.
  • The fowl and poultry house is not higher than 3m above existing ground level or have a floor area of more than 15m2.

There are further construction requirements and you should check that your current or intended fowl and poultry house complies with the fowl and poultry houses section of the Code.

To check the zoning of your property use Council’s online mapping tool

Tips for raising happy chooks

  • Keep your chickens in a lockable, fox-proof chicken coop at night
  • Provide your chickens with an outdoor run or let them roam your garden during the day
  • Feed them a healthy, varied diet, with plenty of protein for egg-laying chickens
  • Always provide clean drinking water
  • Clean your chicken coop regularly
  • Worm and vaccinate your chickens
  • Provide roosts and nesting boxes
  • Provide access to loose dirt so your chooks can take a bath
  • Learn how to catch and hold your chooks safely

For more information on responsible chicken ownership, speak to your local vet.

Dogs and cats in bushland 

Bushland reserves conserve native flora and fauna and provide space for recreational activities such as walking and bird-watching. To protect these environments, dogs are only allowed in some bushland reserves if they are on-leash and under their handler’s control. Cats are banned from these reserves.

There are many off-leash dog parks in Ku-ring-gai where you can exercise your dog.

Companion Animal Act

Under the companion animal act dogs must be on leash while in public unless in an off leash area or a private residence.

"Public place" means:

(a) any pathway, road, bridge, jetty, wharf, road-ferry, reserve, park, beach or garden, and

(b) any other place, that the public are entitled to use.

The public are entitled to use fire trails and bush tracks, therefore dogs must be leashed and under control.

Where are dogs banned?

Dogs and cats are not allowed in wildlife protection areas such as the Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve in Gordon, the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden in St Ives, and Brown’s Forest and the Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve in St Ives.

Dogs and cats are not allowed in national parks at any time, except for guide dogs, who can be taken into reserves when assisting their owners.

Pets are also banned from bushland when fox baiting is underway, as fox baits are lethal to dogs and cats.

Contact us if you’re unsure about where you can take your dog.