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What Are the Duties of a Dog or Cat Owner?

Happy owner of a cat or a dog, you are responsible for him!


For most of us, our pet is part of the family. But integrating him into our family should not make us forget that he must be treated well and receive care appropriate to his nature. An object of affection on our part, the animal is also a subject of law and it is not useless to remind us that we have duties towards it.

Living with your dog or cat…


Over the past forty years or so, the law has tended to strengthen the protection of animals; they are now recognized as living beings endowed with sensitivity .

Ensuring their well-being


We are therefore responsible for their well-being and have an obligation to meet their vital needs: they must be fed to their fill, be free from fear and stress, be protected from discomfort, be spared from pain and be cared for and, above all, be free to express normal patterns of behaviour, according to their nature.

It should also be remembered that animal owners are obliged to allow their animals to have shelter from the weather in all circumstances, when they are locked in a vehicle to leave them in the shade and to ensure that they can benefit from sufficient air inside the vehicle[2].

To punish non-compliance with these rules, the law provides for severe penalties.

Serious abuse and cruelty to animals is punishable by 2 years’ imprisonment and a fine of EUR 300 000.

Similarly, abandoning them on the public highway is an offence, punishable by the same penalties. An abandoned pet animal that wanders on the public highway will be impounded; if its owner does not claim it within 8 days, it may, in the best case, be entrusted to associations for adoption. If this is not possible, it runs the risk of being euthanized.

Identifying your animal


To ensure its safety and better protect it, it is mandatory to identify its animal, by tattoo or microchip. It is also necessary to identify your pet when you travel with it. Identification, in any case, is mandatory at the time the animal is given up, whether free of charge or at the time of sale. Note that the identification is the responsibility of the seller.

Does it have to be kept on a leash?


The obligation to be kept on a leash only concerns certain categories of dogs; 1st and 2nd category dogs, attack, guard or defence dogs, must be muzzled and kept on a leash. Nevertheless, it is important to know that to avoid cats and dogs raving about their commune, some mayors may order that these animals be kept on a leash and/or muzzled (for dogs)

Declaring bites


On the other hand, we must point out that the owner or holder of a dog who has bitten a person must make a declaration at the town hall.

Selling a puppy


Individuals who wish to sell their pet’s litter should be aware that they are considered breeders from the first litter. He is therefore subject to the regulations relating to animal husbandry.

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