Caring for your dog

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Nine essentials for a happy dog

  1. Kennelling and shelter. For an inside dog, provide your dog with its own bed or basket. For an outside dog, provide a kennel that is dry, draught free, well drained, free of faeces and protected from all types of weather (ideally with an attached run).
  2. Good varied nutritional diet including cooked meat, fresh meat, biscuits, vegetables, rice, bones, vitamin and mineral supplements and fresh water.
  3. Three-monthly worming and annual vaccinations.
  4. Spaying or neutering, for prevention of unwanted dogs.
  5. Daily grooming of your dog, allowing you the chance to inspect your dog and notice any problems that may be developing, eg, skin problems, flea infestations. Check ears and teeth, and clip nails carefully with proper nail clippers. Check rural dogs for 'ticks'.
  6. Providing adequate care for your dog when it is unwell, if in doubt consult your veterinarian.
  7. Obedience training is highly recommended and beneficial to you and your dog. No dog is too old to learn.
  8. Provide your dog with adequate and controlled exercise. 
  9. Love, attention and entertainment for your dog on a d​aily basis.
Find out where you can safely exercise your dog - check out our maps online:
Our Animal Education and Control Team also provides dog education for the community, businesses, organisations and individual dog owners - find out more here.

Barking dogs

​Find out what to do if your dog or a neighbour's dog is barking excessively or is creating a nuisance to others with its barking. Often dogs bark out of boredom or frustration. Double check the 'happy dog' checklist above - and see our information on barking dogs.

If you know or suspect the barking is related to a more serious animal welfare issue, contact the Waikato SPCA (or your local SPCA) for assistance.

Evacuation plan for pets

Be sure your emergency evacuation plan includes your pets. The following information and tips are provided to help you develop such a plan. You might also like to check out our Civil Defence tips for contact information and details on what to do in an emergency.

  • Never leave your pet behind unless circumstances prevent you from taking them. Reuniting pets with owners is difficult in the aftermath of a disaster.
  • Keep your pet’s vaccines up-to-date and have paperwork in a place where you can find it quickly.
  • Be prepared – it’s possible disruptions could be for extended periods of time.
  • Have a plan and practise it – this will help you accomplish a successful evacuation and maintain the safety of your animals and pets.
  • Assemble an animal evacuation kit – this will vary for different animals but for dogs and cats consider:
    • food supply and water
    • copy of veterinarian book
    • proof of ownership
    • copy of microchip certificate – this is a unique identifier which stays with the animal under any circumstances and is highly recommended. Scanning will identify the owner’s details and greatly assist in reuniting pets with their owners
    • current photos of pet
    • collar, lead, muzzle
    • registration tag – displaying the current registration tag (of a dog) will also readily assist Council with identifying the matching owner details
    • carrier
    • bowls
    • list of medications
    • list of emergency contact numbers
    • tag with current contact details (phone number, address, name, relative’s phone number, etc)
  • Label everything clearly for easy identification.
  • Pre-arrange an evacuation site for animals outside immediate area – at a friend or relative’s home possibly.
  • Identify alternate sources of food and water.
  • If evacuation is impossible, decide on best and safest housing location where animals could be held.
  • If you must leave animals behind, put stickers on front and back doors of your home to notify rescue personnel that animals are on the property and list the number, type and location for ease of rescue.

More information

Find out more about nuisance animals and what you can and can't do in relation to keeping animals.  

Check out 'related links' (top right) for useful information and organisations that may be able to help you with more tips on caring for your dog, obedience training and advice.

Page reviewed: 16 Oct 2019 4:19pm