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Responsible pet ownership in Port Stephens

Port Stephens people are pet lovers, and with the longer days and warmer weather, we’re out walking our furry friends more regularly. Below, we share some tips on responsible pet ownership, to ensure dogs and humans of Port Stephens can all enjoy the great outdoors in a safe and healthy way.


Lifetime pet registration

If you've recently got a new furry friend, or thinking of getting one soon, don't forget to ensure you have transferred ownership and ensure your contact details are correct. If your pet is ever lost, it means we'll be able to reunite you.

It’s also a requirement to register your cat or dog by 6 months of age.

To register, check or update your pet's details visit the Pet Registry at www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au

Birubi Beach off leash hours

During the summer months, dog off leash times change at Birubi Beach.

While dogs are welcome year round, from October to April they're only allowed off leash between 5pm and 9am…  To see all off leash dog areas in Port Stephens visit pscouncil.info/off-leash-map

Remember to keep at least 100m away from the flagged area. Fines for breaches of these rules start at $330.

Dogs at sporting fields

While summer is traditionally more quiet at our sporting complexes and fields, this isn’t a green light to take your pooch to sporting fields and ovals for exercise!   Even if the field isn't in use, dogs are prohibited from sporting fields at all times.

If caught, you could be up for the following fines, making it a very expensive doggy’s day out:

  • $330 for dogs in a prohibited area
  • $330 fine for dogs off leash
  • $275 for not collecting dog poop immediately

We’re lucky to have plenty of dog friendly parks and reserves across Port Stephens, as well as dog friendly beaches – to see the full list visit pscouncil.info/off-leash-map


Picking up after your dog

Dog droppings can contain harmful bacteria and parasites, so it's important tp pick up your dog's droppings when out and about.

When it rains, fecal matter washes into our drainage systems, carrying bacteria into our waterways, and finding their way into other living things – including us. Dog waste can also be harmful to native fauna, and other dogs.

Council asks that dog walkers carry waste bags whenever they take their pup out, collect poo immediately and dispose of it in a waste bin.

Failing to pick up after your dog attracts a fine of $275.

Keeping dogs leashed in public areas

Our parks, reserves and beaches are here for everyone to enjoy and feel safe at, so here’s a friendly reminder of dog owners’ responsibilities when out in Port Stephens with their pooch:

  • Under the Companion Animals Act, dogs must be kept on a leash and under effective control at all times when out in public.
  • In designated off-leash areas, you'll still need to maintain effective control over your dog, even if they're off leash. Stay close to your dog, and be ready to restrain them if they demonstrate aggressive or anti-social behaviour.

Keeping your dog on a leash can help prevent potential dog attacks. Fines for dog attacks are $1320, and $330 for dogs off leash outside of designated 'off leash areas'.

To see a map of off-leash areas in Port Stephens visit pscouncil.info/off-leash-map