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Pets

The content on this page applies to the Department of Infrastructure Public Sector Housing, although the other housing authorities apply similar rules and guidelines. If in doubt, contact your housing authority.

Keeping pets

You are allowed to keep pets with the permission of the Department. Our definition of pets is dogs, cats, small caged birds (not pigeons), rodents, rabbits, non poisonous insects and small non poisonous reptiles or fish. You must not keep any other type of animal. Please note also, that tenants living in a scheme with more than 4 flats in the block, can only keep small caged pets.

You must ensure that you keep your pet under control so that it does not disturb, annoy or be a nuisance to neighbours or visitors.

Nuisances can include:

  • allowing your dog to foul public footpaths or shared areas
  • allowing your pet to stray
  • letting your dog bark for a long time and
  • allowing your pet to become out of control

For permission to keep a dog a form must be completed and signed (see downloadable documents).  Completed forms should be sent to the Department's customer service team.

Barking dogs

Ownership of a dog in public sector housing is dependent on it being kept under control. This includes excessive barking, which can disturb or annoy neighbours. A dog may bark for many reasons including:

  • loneliness
  • boredom
  • frustration
  • attention seeking
  • defending their territory and
  • medical problems

Training is important and should be combined with affection, exercise and taking good care of the dog. For example, try not to leave the dog alone for long periods of time. This will help prevent your dog from developing bad habits.

You should try to find out why the dog barks so you can then work to stop it, either through training or removing the problem. For example, some dogs bark because they want to join in what is going on outside so try leaving your dog so they cannot see outside. Otherwise you can ask your vet to refer you to an expert in animal behaviour who may be able to suggest ways to improve its behaviour. Also, you may want to see your vet to check your dog for medical problems, anxiety is often the cause of barking.

Replacing your dog will not help, it is likely that you would need to change your lifestyle. Buying another dog for companionship may help but not if you do not have the space or money to keep it.

Complaints about barking dogs should be made to the Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture. For more information see Neighbour noise problems.

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