Keep your dogs happy this summer


Dogs are an important member of the family for many households across New Zealand. No matter if your dog is big, small or somewhere in between, there's some important tips to keeping your pooch happy this summer and to help you be a responsible owner:

​1. Microchip your dog and make sure they're registered every year

​​If your dog managed to escape your property, how would you find them? A microchip allows your dog to be identified if its found and can help to reunite you with your pet.​ Microchipping is done once and stays with your dog for life.

In addition to microchipping, registering your dog with your local council is a requirement of the Dog Control Act 1996. Registration fees are used to help pay for the range of dog services and activities the council provides, such as operating a dog pound, providing dog exercise areas and animal control officers to respond to dog complaints, and delivering dog safety education programmes.

Dog registration happens every year in July.

​2. Keep your dog on its lead in all public places (except designated dog exercise areas)

​​​While dogs can roam off lead on your private property, they can't be off a lead in public places. This includes on footpaths, roads, parks and reserves. Keeping your pet on a lead helps to reduce the risk of dog attacks and threatening behaviour, whether it's your dog that displays the threatening behaviour or they approach another dog that responds negatively.

In fact, the Dog Control Bylaw requires dogs to be on a lead in all public places unless they are in a designated dog exercise area, such as the Ashburton Dog Park (near the Ashburton River), the Methven Dog Park or the exercise area at the old landfill on Range Street, Ashburton. Check out the full list of places to run your dog off leash in the Dog Owner's Handbook.

3. Pick up after your dog

​​​No one likes to accidentally step in dog poo. Don't be that person who leaves it behind for other people to wreck their shoes in: pick up after your dog and put it in a bin. Did you know that failing to do so can actually result in a $300 infringement? 

4. Don't leave them in the car - even with the windows down

​​Unless you're taking your dog with you, it's best to fill up their water bowl and leave them at home. Don't leave them in a car, especially at this time of year. Even parked in the shade with the window down, temperatures can still quickly rise to 39 degrees in your car.

5. Exercise ​early in the morning or ​later in the evening

​The middle of the day can be super hot out in the sun. Make sure you pick a cool time to take your dog out for a walk, such as early in the morning or after the heat has subsided in the afternoon. Remember, if the footpath is too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your pet's paws.

Page reviewed: 04 Feb 2020 4:48pm