Tag Archives: Christchurch rebuild

The sign I don’t like to see

No dogs allowed sign in Dunedin

I was recently in Dunedin on business and noticed these brass signs inlaid into the sidewalks leading to the central business area – No Dogs Allowed.

It makes me sad when I see these signs.  If only we had more responsible dog owners, who trained and cleaned up after their dogs, our cities would be more like those in Europe – where dogs are welcomed everywhere.

In my opinion, we can only stamp out poor dog ownership and training when it is seen publicly and acted upon with enforcement as well as incentives for being a good dog owner.  When we consistently restrict access to ‘good’ and ‘bad’ owners alike, we hide poor dog ownership rather than addressing it as a community.  Peer pressure as well as formal enforcement is a good combination.

Sadly, it seems the re-built Christchurch will also be off limits to dogs and their families.  We are not learning.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

The ultimate in pet-friendly homes

  • Building a new house?
  • Does your family include at least one pet?

Well then, Standard Pacific Homes in Irvine, California has the answer for you.  For an additional $35,000, your new home can include a pet suite.

Pet suites are all about convenience and include dual purpose cabinets for owner/dog and dedicated laundry facilities so the dog hair stays with your dog’s bedding and coats.  There’s even a camera to keep an eye on your dog when you are not at home.

More in this news item:

If I were building in Christchurch right now, I’d be seriously thinking of adding a pet suite to my new home.  It would be another way of including dogs in the rebuild!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

The benefits of being dog-friendly (Christchurch take note)

Here’s more research that backs up my position on dogs and the Christchurch rebuild.  Hopefully the CCDU and CERA will take note…

A study from the University of Liverpool has recommended investing in dog owner education and facilities as a strategy to target physical inactivity and problems such as obesity in both people and their pets.

The research team reviewed scientific papers published since 1990 (31 studies from the UK, USA, Australia and Japan) and found that access to dog-friendly walking environments and better education about dogs’ physical needs could all motivate people to get out and take more exercise with their pets.

An exercised dog is a healthy one, less likely to be obese, and who is less likely to develop behavioural problems like aggression and excessive barking. 

Among the most common findings of all studies was that dog owners have a varied understanding of how much exercise their dog needs. This affected how much they took their dog for a walk; something that could be addressed with education programs.

People without access to high quality local areas that support dog walking, for example parks where dogs are allowed off-leash and poo-disposal facilities are provided, were less likely to walk with their dog and missed out on the associated health benefits.

There are a large number of reasons why people do or don’t walk their dog and it is worth considering how we can address this when designing strategies for reducing obesity, or when planning urban areas and public open space. Not being able to let their dog off the leash is a particular put-off,” said Dr Carri Westgarth, co-author of the study.

Study authors Dr Carri Westgarth and Dr Hayley Christian take an off-lead walk (photo courtesy of University of Liverpool)

Study authors Dr Carri Westgarth and Dr Hayley Christian take an off-lead walk (photo courtesy of University of Liverpool)

The study also found that some people are worried about their dogs’ behaviour and may be less likely to take it out to the park – potentially out of embarrassment or worry about how it might act – but lack of walks may also be causing this bad behaviour, due to boredom, frustration or lack of socialisation.”

When I submitted to the CCDU in November 2012, I made the point that by having greater accessibility, owners have more opportunity to take dogs out – and that increases opportunity not only for exercise but also socialisation.   We want good ownership to be more visible in our communities – thus making it the norm.  Poor ownership would also be more visible – and subject to peer pressure combined with enforcement approaches.

Let’s have a dog-friendly central city with walking accessibility from one end to the other!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Source:  University of Liverpool media release