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Well behaved dogs welcome on many Auckland beaches

Well behaved dogs welcome on many Auckland beaches
February 6, 2017

Auckland Council has emphasised that while welcoming dogs on many of its beaches, dog owners need to respect other beach users.

Auckland Council Animal Management Manager Tracey Moore explains “for most dogs, getting to run around in the sand, dip into the waves and chase a frisbee in the fresh salt air is the best day ever, but living in Auckland means dogs need to learn how to share their favourite place with others of both the canine and human variety.

“Dog owners need to respect other beach users, particularly in summer when these shared favourite space are busiest.

“Dogs are welcome on many Auckland beaches. Owners should check the council website and read the signs at each local beach to make sure they’re following the rules.”

With many Auckland beaches have restricted dog access with hours that change seasonally, the Council has published an advisory note for dog owners with the following advice:

Beach etiquette for dogs
When exercising your dog off leash, it must still be under control. If your dog won’t come when you call, you are better to keep it on-leash. Expert tip: Teach your dog to respond to hand signals. Walking on the beach is much more relaxing once your dog knows to occasionally look back and watch you for the signals to come, lie down, or go play.

Leash your dog when there are other people around - not everyone likes dogs and not all dogs will necessarily like each other, so please keep your dog out of other peoples’ space and don’t let them cause a nuisance to others. Expert tip: Offer your dog a treat every time you snap the leash on, and let him off again frequently. That way, he’ll learn that going on-leash is just as enjoyable as getting let off.

Make sure your dog is beach-ready - bitches in heat, puppies under four months old who are not fully vaccinated, and dogs that snap at other animals or people should not be walked or run on busy beaches. It’s a good idea to leave a collar on your dog, even if he’s going to be swimming. That way, if he gets distracted by the sounds and sights of the beach and gets separated from you, his tags will help to reunite you.

 

Always pick up after your dog and dispose of the waste appropriately
Be especially considerate of our wildlife and keep your dog from disturbing or endangering them. At dusk and dawn some beaches provide rest and refuge for penguins or seals, and there are several species of birds that nest in sand dunes.

Look out for your dog’s welfare
If it’s hot for you, it’s hot for your dog - limit the time your dog spends in the direct sun and to find him a cool, shady spot to curl up when it gets too hot. If the sand is too hot for you to walk on in bare feet (take your jandals off and check), it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Expert tip: In the summertime, it’s cooler to visit the beach early in the morning and later in the day.

On hot days, particularly if your dog has been running around, watch out for signs of overheating, such as rapid panting, excessive drooling, problems with coordination, diarrhea, vomiting, or collapse. 

Short-muzzled breeds such as bulldogs, Boston terriers, boxers and pugs can overheat more quickly than long-snouted dogs. If you are concerned your dog is overheated, move him/her into the shade and pour cool (but not iced) water all over his body, give him small amounts of cool water to drink, then take him to the nearest vet.

Dogs can get sunburned, especially breeds with short coats or light coloured fur. Apply dog-friendly sunscreens, especially to their nose and ears, but be sure to avoid creams containing zinc, which can be toxic for dogs.

Anything at the beach that can harm you can harm your dog as well: high temperatures, sunburn, rips, sharp seashells, glass, jellyfish, algae, rubbish, fish hooks and cut lines, and discarded food or food wrappings are all hazards to watch out for on city beaches.

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