Keeping our pets and community safe

Mascot Sunny with Council Community and Animal Education Supervisor Hannah Maloney and dog owner Charlotte

Here’s your chance to learn more about how to be a great pet owner and how to teach children the best ways to interact safely with our furry friends.

July 1-7 is Dog Safety Week, an initiative of the Sunshine Coast Council.

Service Excellence Portfolio Councillor Winston Johnston said the Council had created a valuable variety of teaching tools and resources to encourage responsible pet ownership messages for families and educators.

“Our programs are designed to create a safe and harmonious co-existence between people, pets and places,” Cr Johnston said.

“Dog Safety Week is a great time to remind us how to be the best pet parent we can be, not just for the benefit of our pets but also for the environment and broader community.”

During Dog Safety Week, the Council is holding a number of responsible pet pop-ups and library sessions.

These will help dog owners understand their responsibilities, including walking on a leash, entering an off-leash park and sharing space.

Top tips for responsible pet ownership

  1. Register your pet: All cats and dogs must be registered with Council every year and wear a Council-issued registration tag when in public.
  2. Leash, tag, and bag before you walk: Make sure you have a leash, Council registration tag and poo bags before you set-off for your walk. Don’t forget that your dog must always be kept on a lead, unless in an off-leash area.
  3. Lock the gate: Make sure your dog is contained. Consider a spring-loaded, self-closing gate and check the fence for gaps.
  4. Give wildlife some space: The Sunshine Coast is home to more than 700 native animals and we all have a responsibility to care for them. If our dogs don’t have the necessary wildlife avoidance training, they can kill or harm native animals.
  5. Share the space, keep each other safe: We all share the same foot paths, cycle paths and open spaces. Keep your dog close and on-leash.

Four steps to greeting a dog

It’s important to teach children how to feel safe around dogs and the four steps to greeting a dog.

  1. Ask your parent or guardian if you can pat the dog.
  2. Ask the dog owner “Can I please pat your dog?”.
  3. Let the dog come to you first; keep your hand low and in a fist to sniff.
  4. Pat the dog gently on the back or shoulder.

Remind your children that some dogs are nervous and don’t like pats and to never pat a dog that is tied-up or alone.

Want to learn more?

Visit sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au and search ‘dog safety week’ or find times and locations here:

Pop-up locations

Ballinger Beach, Buderim St, Currimundi            Monday July 1  7–9am

Dog beach Mudjimba, Twin Waters                   Tuesday July 2  3–5pm

Mary Cairncross Reserve, Maleny                      Wednesday July 3    10am–12pm

Shelly Beach Playground, Shelly Beach              Thursday July 4  7–9am

Elizabeth Daniels dog off-leash park, Buderim   Friday July    5        3–5pm

Wilkes Park, Alexandra Headland                      Saturday July 6  8–10am

Tickle Park, David Low Way, Coolum Beach       Sunday July 7            8–10am

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