Local Regulations and Licences

Owning a dog in Palmerston North

New Zealand and the Council have laws and guidelines to help you look after your dog in a way that is good for you, your dog and the community. Find out more about being a responsible dog owner.

To ensure that dogs and humans can live together peacefully and to reduce the amount of public and environmental disturbances caused by irresponsible dog owners, Palmerston North City Council encourages everyone to play their part.

  • Think before you get a dog
  • Know how to stay safe around dogs
  • Know what the community expects from dog owners
  • Be a responsible dog owner
  • Contact us to report irresponsible dog owners

What we expect from dog owners

As a responsible dog owner in Palmerston North you will:

  • Register your dog(s) and notify Palmerston North City Council if you change your address
  • Keep your dog under control at all times
  • Ensure that your dog receives proper care and attention and is supplied with proper and sufficient food, water and shelter
  • Ensure that your dog receives adequate exercise
  • Ensure that the dog does not cause a nuisance to any other person through barking or howling
  • Ensure that the dog does not injure, endanger, intimidate, or otherwise cause distress to any person
  • Ensure that the dog does not injure, endanger, intimidate, or otherwise cause distress to any stock, poultry, domestic animal, or protected wildlife
  • Ensure that the dog does not damage or endanger any property belonging to any other person
  • Comply with the requirements of the Act and of all regulations and bylaws made under the Act
  • Provide Palmerston North City Council with details if your dog is microchipped by a vet

Dog care and exercise

Exercising your dog is an important part of being a responsible dog owner. It is essential to ensure your dog receives proper care and attention, such as adequate food, water, shelter, and exercise. Failure to do so is an offence and may result in a prison term of three months or a fine of up to $5,000.

Be sure to keep your dog's vaccinations and worming up to date. If you are unsure of when this needs to be carried out, your local vet will be able to help you with a schedule.

Find out where you can exercise your dog in Palmerston North

Cleaning up after your dog

When out and about, don't forget to take something with you like a pooper scooper or a plastic bag to pick up your dog's faeces. This can be disposed of in the supplied dog fouling bins or any other litter bin provided for your use. Failure to clean up after your dog may result in a fine.

Neutering your dog

Desexing your dog is actively encouraged by Palmerston North City Council. We offer discounted rates on registration fees. Desexing also makes your dog cleaner, easier to handle, less likely to roam, more socially acceptable, less aggressive, and less likely to suffer ill health.

Training your dog

Dog obedience training is a positive and educational way to spending quality time with your dog. It can also help you comply with the city's responsible dog owner practices. There are a number of dog trainers throughout the region.

Check the Yellow Pages for a list of dog trainers