Responsible pet ownership


Buying a puppy is exciting. They are cute and a bundle of energy. However, other than their obvious needs, there are a few legal requirements:

  • By 12 weeks, puppies must be microchipped.
  • After six months, they must be registered on the NSW Pet Registry. Registration can be done:
    • Online: through your MyServiceNSW account
    • In Person: at Waverley Council’s Customer Service Centre or at Service NSW
      Please note that if your pet is an assistance animal, working dog or dog kept for breeding purposes you need to register it through Council.
  • Dogs must wear a collar with its owner’s contact details when out.

  • Under the NSW Companion Animals Act there are strict rules governing the control and behaviour of dogs, dog owners and commercial dog walkers in public places.

Remember, making your dog easily identifiable with up to date contact information on it's collar, increases the chances of it being returned to you if it is lost.


Dogs need regular exercise. When walking your dog in a public place, it must be leashed and under the effective control of a competent person by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash at all times, unless in an approved off-leash area. Please do not let your dog roam free as the consequences can be severe, ranging from a fine to the dog becoming lost or even injured by a passing car. View our dog walking areas here.


Unless signposted otherwise or a prohibited area under the NSW Animal Companion Act, dogs are allowed on leash across the Waverley Area. Dog off-leash areas are always signposted. Please note, dog owners are responsible for acknowledging appropriate signage.

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Off-leash areas in Waverley

We have many off-leash areas in or near Waverley where dogs can exercise and play. They include:

Please note, if your dog is being exercised in one of the above, approved off-leash area, it must always be accompanied by a competent person and the dog must be under control.

For further information about your responsibility as a Dog Owner in public spaces, please download our Dogs in Public Places brochure.

Prohibited areas for dogs

There are certain places where dogs are not allowed. These places are:

  • Beaches and pools
  • Bondi Park and Tamarama Park
  • Within 10 metres of any children’s playground
  • Within 10 metres of any food preparation area or near change rooms
  • Public places set aside for organised games or passive recreation (such as beaches, memorial parks and sportsfields)
  • Bushcare sites
  • In childcare centres, school grounds and shopping complexes

Please respect these restrictions—they are in place for the safety and enjoyment of the whole community.


Sydney dogs produce more than 1000 tonnes of waste every day. Owners must pick up and appropriately dispose of dog droppings or risk fines.

While we have dog tidy stations installed throughout Waverley's dog parks, it is important that you carry bags with you while walking your dog so that you don't get caught out.

Being mindful of neighbours

Barking, in addition to whining, howling and growling, is a dog's way to communicate. Occasional barking is a normal way to get your attention.

However, dogs shouldn’t bark excessively and disturb neighbours. Constant barking can be a sign of boredom, loneliness or pent-up energy. There’s no easy solution to problem barking. Please don’t yell or hit your dog, as this may cause other behaviour problems. Instead:

  • Make sure your dog gets at least an hour of daily playtime and exercise, early morning is often best.
  • Determine the cause of behaviour i.e. does it have enough shelter, toys? Is it bored, or is it near a busy pedestrian thoroughfare? Once you know, then try different tactics to help fix the problem.
  • Consult your local vet or a recognised animal behaviourist for advice. Some dogs have behavioural problems such as separation anxiety, which might need specific treatment and training.

Excessive barking can be serious and cause strained relations with surrounding neighbours, so please try to find a solution. Councils can issue a Nuisance Order if your dog continues to bark, damages other people's property or chases people, animals or vehicles.

Lost dogs

Make sure you know the whereabouts of your dog. Council is legally obliged to pick up any dog roaming free on a street or public area. If your dog is missing, call Council’s Rangers or the Sydney Dog and Cats Home.

Remember, if you want a dog, there are plenty at the pound who would love a new family. For a small adoption fee, you can give a dog a new lease of life.

Keeping your dog healthy

Find food best suited for your dog's age, size and activity level and keep the diet consistent. Always provide plenty of fresh, clean water. It’s good to take your dog for regular checks at your local vet.

Unfortunately, accidents and serious illnesses can strike at any time. Over half of vet visits, each year are listed as a sudden illness. Your dog deserves medical attention when needed, however, vet bills are often very expensive.

Most vets recommend pet insurance so your dog is covered in its time of need and you have peace of mind. Ask your vet for advice. A small fee now can save a lot of heartache later.

Going on holidays?

If you’re going away for a few days, a friend, neighbour or dog care service might be a convenient, safe and cost-effective option.

However, if you’re going away for a while, a house sitter or boarding kennel might be better. Your local vet can advise you of a reputable kennel. If you are going to board your dog, make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date as reputable boarding kennels request a certificate.