Keep your pets happy this summer

Summertime will officially kick-off at the end of this week and with the warmer conditions and holiday season set to get underway, now is the time for dog owners to start thinking about the wellbeing of their pets in the months ahead.

Favourable sunny weather usually sees more people out exploring the district with their dogs and there are no shortage of great places right on our doorstep to head off to, however, I'd urge people to please respect the need for leads to stay on where they should be.

One of the Council's responsibilities in providing dog control services is balancing the opportunities for dogs to be adequately exercised with the need for other members of the community to be safe from nuisance dog behaviours. Not everyone out enjoying our open spaces or walking trails is comfortable with someone else's unleashed dog wandering up to them or their leashed pet.

Unfortunately, these situations can also be very dangerous. That's why we urge owners to utilise our designated off-leash dog exercise areas that are available around Ashburton and Methven, and to keep their dog on a lead in all other public areas, both for their dogs wellbeing and the wider community.

You should also consider the temperature outside before clipping on the leash. Sizzling footpaths and roads can quickly burn your dogs paws. A general rule to help avoid this is to test the surface temperature on your own skin: if the footpath is too hot for your palm, then it's too hot for your dog. Walking earlier in the morning or later in the evening can also help avoid heat exhaustion.

The end-of-year period usually also signals holidays for many families, but while you're planning your activities, make sure to organise proper arrangements for your dog too. If you can't take your pet away with you, look into booking them into a boarding kennel, take them to a friend or families' house or organise a live-in dog sitter. Dogs that are left at home alone, with someone only popping around to feed them can quickly become bored and lonely, leading to persistent barking and nuisance behaviour for their neighbours.

You can find more useful information for looking after your pet in our free Dog Owners' Handbook, available on our website. It includes places you can take your pet off-leash, how to secure your property to stop your dog wandering and other key responsibilities to keep your pet happy and healthy. Simply visit ashburtondc.govt.nz.​

Page reviewed: 17 Dec 2019 4:23pm