How dog friendly is Auckland?
Our latest blog comes from the Spinoff and looks at how Auckland stacks up in the world’s ‘dog-friendly’ stakes, analysing such things as public transport, off-leash exercise areas, dog agility parks and dog-friendly beaches, dog registration, dog events, whether dogs can go shopping or wining and dining and whether Auckland’s streets are safe for dogs.
The long and short of the report reckons that when it comes to dog friendliness, Auckland gets a C+ and the author feels Auckland, in general, could be more welcoming to the city’s 106,000 registered dogs and their human escorts.
Working from the good things and heading down to the areas where it is suggested more work could be done, we thought we’d just summarise the report for you.
Auckland dog report
Top score was awarded for Auckland dog rules. Since their 2019 refresh, they are now deemed fair, acceptable, and easily understood. Of particular mention were the summer restrictions on dog access which are now much more consistent across Auckland. Most Auckland beaches use the time and season rule to restrict dog access in the summer to early morning and after 5pm. Two exceptions are Kakamatua in the west and Onehunga Bay Reserve on the isthmus, where dogs can run and swim at any time.
Dog registration was also seen as easy and affordable, with online payment and options for fee reductions available, scoring eight out of 10.
Off-leash dog exercise
Next come green spaces for off-leash dog exercise. There are over 2,500 parks and beaches where dogs can be exercised off-leash and you can search for them on the Auckland website. In addition, Auckland has three purpose-built public dog agility stations located at Craigavon Park in Blockhouse Bay, Corban Reserve in Henderson, and Manuka Reserve in Bayview. There are also a few privately run clubs and courses available.
Events for dogs
Dogs can have a great social life in Auckland at year-round events such as the Pet and Animal Expo, Ambury Park Open Day, Eukanuba Tails & Trails, Doggy Day Out, the Rainbow Dog Show, and the Big Swim. The author, Auckland councillor Cathy Casey, gave these events six out of 10.
Dogs and transport
Auckland’s rail network now allows dogs to travel alongside their humans as long as they wear a muzzle and travel during off-peak hours. Ferries have long allowed dogs on-leash to travel on the outside decks free of charge. Sadly, however, only service dogs are allowed on buses at present, except on Waiheke Island bus services where dogs on a leash are welcome aboard. Auckland transport and dogs rated a six out of 10.
Dogs and shopping
When it comes to shopping, the decision as to whether dogs are welcome is up to the owner or manager. Some shops are welcoming, so your furry friend can help get your DIY tools, plants, your barbecue or your outdoor furniture, while others, such as malls refuse entry to dogs.
Eating out with furry friends
As for cafes or bars, dog entry is again down to the owner or manager. While there are some cafes and bars that encourage dogs and their humans in their outside seating areas, it pays to ring ahead and find out if well-behaved dogs are allowed on the premises. We have created a list of some dog -friendly bars and cafes for you.
Dogs on the streets
When judging if Auckland streets are friendly for dogs, it was suggested more dog-friendly solutions, such as sheltered dog tie-up spots with water, could be provided. Tying your dog to a piece of street furniture, can leave them at the mercy of the elements and unwanted approaches by people and other dogs.
It’s a dog’s life in Auckland
Overall, the report says there are plenty of good things happening for dogs and their humans in Auckland, but compared to some European cities, more could be done.
When your dog is staying with us at our boarding kennels, we give them exercise and playtime twice daily. We may not be able to take them to one of Auckland’s beautiful parks, take them shopping or eating out at cafes, but we still promise to love them like you do.