Auckland Council’s Animal Management team has some very straightforward advice for dog owners (such as myself!) during the lockdown period:
- If you usually drive to the beach to walk your dog, you should change your plans. You shouldn’t be driving unless you have a very good reason to do so.
- Importantly, the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 rules of keeping 2m distance must be applied when exercising dogs. This is to avoid the person coming into close contact with someone else when walking or retrieving their dog. To make sure there’s no room for doubt here, owners should have dogs on a leash at all times.
- Now is the time for people to be more vigilant than ever about their dog exercising practices. In off-leash areas, the rules state that dogs must be under the owners’ control at all times. Right now, with the need for physical distancing, off-leash exercising cannot be easily or sensibly managed.
- Some pet experts are suggesting that people should be discouraged from patting dogs to avoid any possibility whatsoever of transmitting germs via your pet’s fur. For the avoidance of any doubt, we think this is a common-sense approach to take.
So, in general, keep exercising your dogs and caring for your pets as usual, while following Government guidance. Walk dogs on a leash and avoid any unnecessary pats or contact from people outside your self-isolation ‘bubble’.
(Our thanks to Greg Sayers and Graham Painter for passing on this helpful advice)