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A simple guide for dog walkers during lockdown

Published: 31 March 2020

Dog walking in lockdown: UPDATED 28 April 2020

The council’s dog walking guidance has been updated to reflect the move to Alert Level 3.

Driving to walk your dog

While the majority of the dog walking guidelines remain in place, you can now drive a short distance to walk your dog.

What does that mean?

You must stay local – travelling to your nearest park or beach, not your favorite one.

Importantly, please remember to continue to limit your interactions with others. Stay in your household bubbles whenever you are not at work, school, buying groceries or exercising.

Please also remember to pick up after your dog, and put the waste in a bin or take it home.

Dog walking guidelines

  • Normal rules still apply on where you can take dogs
  • You can drive a short distance to walk your dog, but you must stay local
  • Keep exercising your dogs and caring for your pets as usual, while following government guidance
  • We recommend that owners have their dogs on a leash at all times to avoid coming into close contact with someone else when walking or retrieving their dog. This includes within off-leash exercise areas
  • As an extra precaution, we discourage people from patting dogs that are not within their own self-isolation ‘bubble’.

More on these guidelines

Remember dog access rules haven’t changed. However, we recommend you follow some basic guidelines as to how to observe the rules of the level 3 lockdown to reduce the chances of transmitting Covid-19 to keep you and your family safe. 

So, here’s our recommendations on the do’s and don’ts of walking your dog during lockdown with Councillor Linda Cooper, Chair of Auckland Council’s Regulatory Committee.

We recommend that owners have their dogs on a leash at all times to avoid coming into close contact with someone else when walking or retrieving their dog. This includes within off-leash exercise areas.

“We’ve got some fantastic parks in Auckland and areas that you can walk your dog, some of which are areas where ordinarily you can walk your dog off leash. However, now this just isn’t a good idea,” says Cooper.

“Importantly, the COVID-19 Alert Level 3 rules of keeping a 2m distance must be applied when exercising dogs. This is to avoid a 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 always have dogs on a leash,” she says.

As an extra precaution, we discourage people from patting dogs that are not within their own self-isolation ‘bubble’

“Some pet experts are suggesting that people should be discouraged from patting dogs to avoid any possibility whatsoever of transmitting the virus via your pets’ hair,” says Cooper.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, we think this is a common-sense approach to take.”

Keep exercising your dogs and caring for your pets as usual, while following government guidance

“We know you love your dog and want to take care of it responsibly”, she says.

“Now is the time for people to be more vigilant than ever about their dog exercising practices.

“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’.

Normal rules also still apply on where you can take dogs

“Its also important to remember that rules around where you can and can’t take dogs still apply, so please don’t take your dogs to areas where you ordinarily wouldn’t. Locations such as sports fields, some beaches and parks are still off limits,” she says.

Please also remember to pick up after your dog, take waste to a bin or take it home.

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 visit covid19.govt.nz

 

Read more: COVID-19

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