New Zealand is a gorgeous country, filled with opportunities to explore, pet by your side. Well, perhaps if your pet is a feline that won’t be the case, but if you move to New Zealand with a dog, you’ll be in “outdoors” mode for sure. Knowing the rules of the road will help you keep your pup safe. Pet safety rules apply to cats, too, because as we all know, safety begins at home.
And speaking of home, New Zealanders – or Kiwis, if you will – are big on dogs. That’s why there are strict rules for proper pet parenting that you’re expected to follow. As a doting FurMom or FurDad yourself, you won’t find these rules onerous, because they simply make sense. They’re designed to protect the safety of animals and protect public safety as well.
- You must register your dog with the local council.
- Dogs must be microchipped. Microchips are also required to move your Dear One to New Zealand from another country, so you’re all set on that score. You’ll be happy to know that this country maintains a National Dog Database, and your pup’s microchip information will automatically be added. That’s extra peace of mind in case you ever get separated. Once you register your pooch, you’ll receive a tag to attach to her collar.
- You’re required to keep your dog in good health. It’s the law in New Zealand that pet owners seek proper medical care to treat illnesses or injuries for their animals.
Always mind your manners
As popular as dogs are in New Zealand, when you’re mingling in public with your pooch, remember that not everyone loves dogs. And some people are afraid of them. No matter where you are, you’re expected to behave responsibly. Both of you. That means keeping your dog on a leash and picking up after her if she makes a mess. You know what we mean. Don’t forget, because these are legal requirements that come with potential fines if you fail to comply.
A leash is important for two reasons. It keeps your dog under control, so she can’t get into trouble – stepping out in front of a vehicle or goofily approaching someone, or picking up something noxious. But a leash also signals to other people that your dog is under control and, therefore, not likely to be a safety threat to them.
There may be places nearby where your pup can have fun off-leash. These areas are designated by the local council. They may also designate areas where dogs are not allowed, on leash or off. You can check the rules when you register your dog.
Armed with a supply of plastic bags and tasty treats to reward your pup for good citizenry, you’ll be ready to hit the road. A portable water dish is a good idea, too.
When in Wellington . . .
As of July 2018, all domestic pets are welcome to ride public transportation in Wellington, thanks to new legislation enacted by the Regional Council. Finally, a chance for your kitty to get out and see the sights with you, other than in your car. Your pet can travel fee-free, but only during off-peak hours, and she’ll have to be “under control at all times.” This may require her to be in a carrier, so don’t assume your larger dog will be welcome without double-checking first.
In Auckland, pets are out of luck when it comes to riding buses and the train, unless they’re officially-designated disability assist dogs or in training to become one. On the other hand, you and your cat or dog can board a ferry for a cross-water excursion. Check first, though, and be prepared to purchase your furry companion a separate ticket.
If you plan to travel on any type of public transportation with your pet, there are additional rules of on-board pet-iquette you will want to observe.
In the event of an emergency
Natural disasters can happen anywhere. New Zealand, for instance, is prone to earthquakes. And of course there are all sorts of less-dramatic emergencies that could endanger your four-legged family and humans, too. Experts strongly recommend that you consider these possibilities and prepare to protect your dog in case of emergency.
Of course disasters are highly unlikely. What is guaranteed is that you and your well-mannered pet can have no end of great and safe adventures on the road in New Zealand.