Responsible Pet Ownership

At Cochrane Animal Services we encourage responsible pet ownership through licensing, public education and enforcement. Our goal is to help pet owners care responsibly for their pets and to ensure that our animal population enjoys a healthy, safe and harmonious co-existence with the residents of Cochrane. Read the Animal Bylaw for details.

Pet Ownership Responsibility


Pet owners must ensure pets remain on their property or, when off the property, are under control. You, as a pet owner are responsible for making sure your pet has adequate food, water and shelter year-round. Other details:
  • All dogs and cats living in Cochrane must be licensed
  • Ensure pets are vaccinated and taken to the veterinarian for annual exams.
  • Keep pets under control at all times so they do not run at large.
  • Dogs must be on leash when off your property except in Cochrane’s two off-leash parks,
  • Prevent pets from being neighbourhood nuisances by destroying property or urinating, defecating, meowing, barking and running at large.
  • Regularly clean up dog defecation in their own yard and pick up after their pet in public spaces and other people’s private property.
  • Do not allow pets to jump on people, frighten or threaten people.
  • Provide socialization, exercise, obedience and playtime for their pets.

Don't let your pet become prey


Cats that roam outside can be easy prey for coyotes and other wildlife. Cats that stay indoors are safer from traffic, unfriendly animals, predators, diseases, frostbite, dehydration, poison and abuse from humans.

Wildlife are also attracted to garbage, pet food and defecation.
Tips to keep from attracting wildlife to your home:
  • Keep garbage and recycling bins firmly closed
  • Promptly remove defecation
  • Don't keep pet food outside
  • Keep the area around your home clean

Warm weather tips
Hot dog for FB w temp chart

We know your dog likes to be with you, but dogs are happier at home in warm weather. Don’t put your dog at risk:
  • Car interiors can reach 37° in ten minutes; internal damage can occur at 41°
  • Even a short time in a hot car can have serious consequences: heatstroke, suffocation, brain damage — even death
  • Studies show that an open window or parking in the shade makes no difference
  • When your pets are at home, make sure they have plenty of water and shady spots for relief (if outside)

Cold weather tips


Dogs can suffer frostbite and hypothermia just like humans (especially young and senior dogs).
  • Do not leave your dog outside for long periods in freezing weather.
  • Provide appropriate shelter 
  • Provide water that won't freeze
  • Dress your pet in booties and/or sweater if they get cold easily

Healthy Pets


Responsible pet owners are conscientious on a number of fronts. Here are a few tips on keeping your pet safe and healthy:
  • Always keep your cats and dogs close to home. By keeping your pet on your property, not only are you following the bylaw, but you are also preventing your pet from being hit by cars, attacked or injured in any other way.
  • If your cat must go outside, build a cat run or leash-train.
  • While your dog is outside, he must have proper food, water and shelter for all seasons.
  • Groom your pet as necessary.
  • Spend time and play with your pet. This will help you bond and keep them attentive and happy. Bored animals may develop behavioural problems.
  • Vaccinate against diseases, starting at the age of two months and rabies at four months.
  • Have your pet spayed or neutered by the age of six months.
  • Take your pet for annual check-ups and have booster shots done annually.
  • Visit your veterinarian if your pet is displaying any unusual behaviour such as vomiting, diarrhea, straining to urinate, pain, lethargy, lack of appetite or excessive hunger or thirst.