Responsible Pet Ownership

Pets add value to your life. Make sure your pet is adding value to your community by ensuring you follow these steps.
photo of three dogs on leashes being walked by their owner

Dogs

Responsibilities of a dog owner

Make sure your dog is a positive addition to the community by respecting and following these guidelines:

Keep them licensed

All dogs must be licensed. Dog owners in Red Deer must purchase an license for each dog and renew it yearly. Licenses are the best first step to help reunite lost pets with their owners. 

Learn more about Dog Licenses.

Keep them on a leash

Dogs are safest on a leash. When they are on the end of your leash, dogs run less risk of:

  • being hit by a car;
  • getting in a fight with another dog or wildlife; or
  • biting someone.

Outside of your private property or at one of our off leash dog parks, dogs must be on a leash.

Scoop their poop

Dogs poop. Responsible dog owners clean up their dog's poop. Whether you are out and about or if it is on your private property, cleaning up after your pet is the right thing to do. Dog poop spoils others enjoyment of the outdoors. If you're on public property with your dog, please carry a dog waste bag and scoop the poop right away. If your dog is on your private property, you don't need to clean up immediately, but do make a regular habit of cleaning up your dog's waste; your neighbours will thank you.

Control their barking

Excessive barking can be a headache for people. Dogs bark for many reasons including:

  • boredom
  • loneliness
  • protectiveness

Give your dog less reason to bark. Proper exercise, training, socializing and human interaction will go a long way to reduce excessive barking.

Have them spayed or neutered

Dogs who are fully intact have a greater tendency to roam, run away and engage in aggressive behaviour. Spaying and neutering your dogs also reduces the cost of your annual dog license renewal fee.

Only bring registered service dogs into City-owned facilities
Service dogs in Red Deer

A service dog is a dog that has been trained and assessed for safety in public spaces and helps a person with specific tasks related to their disability. A service dog team consists of:

  • the service dog
  • the individual with a disability
  • the service dog handler, if the individual is a minor
Service dog identification card

photo of sample Service Dog identification cardA service dog identification card provides proof that the service dog team is qualified by the government. The card has:

  • the name of the handler and dog
  • a photo of the handler and dog
  • a validation number
  • a date of expiration

Recreation facility employees may ask to see your service dog identification card.

For more information

Government of Alberta
Service Dog Act 

If you fail to follow these guidelines, you may be subject to a fine ranging from $250 - $10,000. Refer to our Dog Bylaw 3429/2009 (pdf) for details.

If you know of a dog owner who isn't following these guidelines, we encourage you talk with the person to let them know your concerns. Being neighbourly can go a long way. If that doesn't get results, please contact Alberta Animals Services at 403-347-2388 or 1-866-340-2388 or info@albertaanimalservices.ca.

Cats

Responsibilities of a cat owner

Your cat may be the centre of your universe, but others may have a different opinion. Follow these suggestions to be a conscientious cat owner.

Keep your cats from roaming

If you own a cat, it is your responsibility to ensure that it does not run at large. If your cat strays off your property, it may be trapped and taken to Alberta Animal Services. Keep your cats indoors or on a leash. Cats love to roam but not everyone enjoys a visit from the neighbourhood cat. Refer to our Cat Bylaw (pdf) for details. 

The fines for allowing a cat to run at large are:
  • $30 - first offence
  • $60 - second offence
The fines for allowing a cat to damage private or public property are:
  • $30 - first offence
  • $60 - second offence
Cat identification tags

Cat identification tags are a way to protect your cat if they go missing. Cats with identification tags are much more likely to be reunited with their owners. 

We currently do not license cats, it is however recommended that cats wear ID tags so owners can easily be identified.‌

Where can I purchase a Cat Identification Tag?

Cat ID tags can be purchased at most major pet stores.

Spay or neuter your cat

Unaltered male cats like to roam about looking for a mate. While they are roaming, they have an increased tendency to spray and meow loudly in an attempt to attract a female. 

Intact females enter their heat cycle and also feel the need to roam about looking for a mate. 

When the two meet up, the result is a litter of kittens. Kittens, while cute, can become a nuisance for the neighbourhood by adding noise and additional numbers of cats to the neighbourhood.

Fixing your cat (by having them spayed or neutered) is the responsible thing to do as it reduces all these neighbourhood issues.

If you know a cat owner who isn't following these guidelines, we encourage you talk with the person to let them know your concerns. Being neighbourly can go a long way. If that doesn't get results, please contact Alberta Animals Services at 403-347-2388 or 1-866-340-2388 or info@albertaanimalservices.ca.