Making sure your dog has a suitable place to live.
What your dog needs
Your dog needs a safe environment and, whether it lives inside or outside the house, it needs protection from hazards. Examples of hazards in the home include: open windows and balconies, which may be inadequately protected to prevent your dog from falling from them; household and garden chemicals; and poisonous plants.
Dogs are naturally inquisitive and a dog may put itself in danger if it is left to explore unsupervised. Your dog needs a safe, comfortable place to rest, situated in a dry, draught-free area. Living in a cold or damp place can lead to suffering. If your dog lives outside, it will need protection from adverse
weather or other threats. All dogs must be able to avoid things that frighten them and need a place to hide where they feel safe.
A dog is naturally disinclined to soil its living area and needs regular opportunities to use a toilet area, or it will become distressed. Some dogs may need access to a toilet area more frequently, for example: very young; very old; and those that are ill.
Dogs are vulnerable to heat stress. In hot weather they rapidly become distressed in enclosed areas such as conservatories, cars and outdoor kennels.
What you should do:
- Provide your dog with a safe, clean environment. Make sure that you provide adequate protection from hazards.
- Provide your dog with a comfortable, clean, dry, quiet, draught-free rest area.
- Provide your dog with somewhere it can go to avoid things that frighten it.
- If your dog is kept in a kennel, or tethered, you should check it frequently and ensure it is not in danger or distressed.
- Provide your dog with access to an appropriate place, away from its resting area, which it can use as a toilet area regularly as needed.
- Make sure that any place you leave your dog is large enough to ensure, at all times, a comfortable area with effective ventilation and temperature control, and that your dog is able to move around to ensure its comfort, avoiding becoming too hot or too cold.
- When you transport your dog make sure it is comfortable and safe at all times.
- Do not leave your dog unattended in any situation, or for any period of time that is likely to cause it distress.
Crown copyright: codes of practice for the welfare of dogs.
Published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs December 2009.
You can view the full publication www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/cruelty/index.htm