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Responsible Dog Ownership

Image for the Responsible Dog Ownership page.
This page contains information about responsible dog ownership.
Updated: 19/10/2018 8:42 a.m.
Photo of two puppies.
Two puppies

The Dog Control Act places responsibility on dog owners to look after and control their dog.

This means ensuring that your dog receives the right care and attention and is supplied with proper and sufficient food, water and shelter at all times.

Your dog(s) must also receive adequate exercise.

Dogs must be controlled on private property within physical limits (fencing, kennels, indoors), or by command and on a lead in all public areas.

Dogs that are roaming or off leash can:

  • intimidate and harm people and animals
  • create health and hygiene problems by fouling in public and scattering rubbish
  • cause traffic hazards.

Our animal management staff can help you to be aware of your responsibilities as a dog owner and to understand problem behaviour in dogs. If you want advice on any aspect of dog ownership contact us or the SPCA on +64 9 438 9161. 

Your dog is your friend. Treat him/her as you would like to be treated. 

Exercising your dog

There are a number of areas within the Whangarei district where you can exercise your dog off a leash, within a safe and controlled environment.

Remember when exercising your dog in parks or on our beaches, be especially vigilant of our wildlife and please keep your dog from disturbing or endangering any other animals.

For detailed information on where you can exercise your dog, follow the link below.

Desexing your dog

You can take an active role in preventing the needless suffering and death of homeless pets by eliminating the cycle of unwanted births. 

Desexed pets generally live longer, are healthier and are less likely to wander, fight and get lost or injured.

Other benefits include:

  • a reduced risk of diseases such as cancer and diseases of the reproductive organs
  • lessening of antisocial behaviour such as spraying indoors
  • a reduction in certain aggressive tendencies in male dogs.

Clean up after your dog

Owners are legally responsible for cleaning up after their dogs on any property that’s not their own.

This means carrying a plastic bag whenever you’re in public with your dog. Dog waste bags are available at Council offices or the Pound in Kioreroa Road.

What to do in an animal emergency

If you find an injured animal, please contact the SPCA or Council. Be ready to provide details of the animal and its precise location, together with your contact details.

It is important that injured animals receive treatment quickly. Other than emergency first aid, you should never attempt to treat an animal yourself.

If you find an animal that has been injured, it is important to remember the following points:

  • approach an injured animal carefully. Fear and pain can induce aggressive and unpredictable behaviour, even in your own pet.
  • call for professional assistance as soon as you have assessed the situation.
  • where possible and safe to do so, confine the animal and/or stay with it, keeping it quiet, still and warm.
  • if the animal is badly hurt, do not try to move it unless it is in a dangerous place such as on a busy road. Do not panic. Always put your own safety first.
  • if you need to move a badly injured animal, use a blanket to form a stretcher.
  • do not attempt to feed or give water to an injured animal.

Remember that the best way you can help an injured animal is to call for professional help immediately.

For further information about the responsibilites of being a dog owner, select from the links below.

Contact us



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