Things to Know About Dog Ownership in NZ: How Dog Insurance Helps

Date Aug 10, 2020
Blog category Insurance
By Huey A

A pet dog is a wonderful companion to have around in your life. Dubbed as ‘man’s best friend’, these steadfast animals have been by our side for thousands of years. Now, dog ownership is not just about fun and games; there are responsibilities that come with being a pet owner here in New Zealand. From registration to public safety to dog insurance, NZ has set guidelines on how to take proper care of your four-legged companion.

Registration and microchips

All dogs registered for the first time need to be microchipped, with the exception of working-class farm dogs. This is to help the council track dogs in the event that they are lost or stolen. Microchips help reunite dogs with their owners should they get lost or identified as dangerous. 

Microchipping a dog isn’t a huge expense, and you may be able to get it cheaper if you have it done at a vet alongside other procedures. Microchips are also a one-off cost; you only need to pay for it once. It’s also usually done to dogs that are over three months old. Check-in with your pet insurance provider if they can help with this as well.

Every year on July 1, the Dog Control Act 1996 requires owners to register all dogs over three months old. Fees are set by the council based on the costs of providing dog control services in their community, ensuring that there are only safe and well-behaved dogs in the neighbourhood. Records containing both dog and owner information are stored in the National Dog Database (NDD). 

Public safety

In the name of public safety, councils may specify some areas where your dog cannot enter or must be leashed. Of course, it’s not a knock on your beloved pet. These measures are often implemented to facilitate public safety and hygiene. There are allocated areas where your dog can freely exercise without leashes as well.

In public places, you are required to pick up your dog’s stool, which is why you’ll see many pet owners carry plastic bags with them. It helps keep the cleanliness and orderliness of these areas intact, while still remaining friendly towards pets.

Some breeds of dogs may also be classed as dangerous in which case, they would need to be leashed or muzzled when going out. As an owner, the council may even obligate you to keep in a fenced area at all times or have it de-sexed in order to curb rowdy behaviour. Keep in mind that most dog insurance providers do not cover these treatments, so you’ll have to budget for it appropriately.

Animal wellness

Dogs deserve to live a healthy and happy life. Thus, it's important for pet owners to help them out in this regard. Owners must keep up to date with their pet’s vaccinations and other prevention procedures. You need to watch out for ticks, fleas, and other parasites that may plague your dogs.

The Animal Welfare Act of 1999 outlines how people should be taking care of animals. It establishes that as an animal owner, you need to be capable of meeting your animals’ physical, health, and behavioral needs. It defines those as:

  • Good food
  • Clean water
  • Adequate shelter for their needs
  • The opportunity to display normal patterns of behaviour
  • Appropriate physical handling
  • Protection from injury and disease

This includes making provisions for any possible illnesses that your pet may contract as it ages. Diseases like cataracts, cancer, arthritis, and other infections start to become more common as your pet ages. Regular checkups are recommended to prepare for them, ensuring that your dog stays healthy throughout its life.

Maintaining your dog’s health is easy if you have comprehensive dog insurance. NZ has several providers that can offer this, so see what options are available in your area. It helps if you plan ahead as well as allocate some budget towards preparing for unexpected health problems that may arise.

Compare and find the best dog insurance plan for you!

Owning a pet carries both joy and responsibility as an owner; both to the community and to your trusted animal companion. Here at glimp, we share that same sentiment towards animals, which is why we have compiled different pet insurance plans in order to help you pick out a policy that takes care of your dog’s specific needs. Try out our free comparison tool and find the perfect dog insurance policy for your furry friend today!

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