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Travelling with Your Dog in New Zealand

Travelling with your dog around New Zealand on a family holiday belongs to one of life’s greatest adventures.

In September 2019, the Share My Pet family hit the road. We packed up our van, our two dogs and toured for three weeks around the South Island. Our goal was to promote pet-friendly NZ and shine the light on local businesses that are pet friendly.

Dave and I love doing as much as possible with our pets and travelling with our dogs is always a highlight. Both of us enjoy holidays and meals out that allow us to bring our dogs along. We are also known for taking our mini pony on a jaunt around the neighborhood. We may be pet mad, but we certainly aren’t alone in our passion for the pooch.

In this blog, I will talk about our experiences travelling with our dogs, Miss Muppet and Snout, and what it means to travel responsibly with your pets. Also I will provide some advice and useful links about travelling with your dogs in New Zealand.


What we discovered was two-fold. Yes, it’s definitely possible and great fun to travel with your pet and discover pet-friendly places to stay, eat and drink. Exploring new trails and scenery with your fur-buddy in beautiful NZ is the best!

Underpinning all these discoveries, however, was a realisation that as pet owners we also have a HUGE responsibility. How we behave and how we act when out and about with our furry charges sets a tone. By respecting the rules and other people, who may not be pet lovers, we can be part of an environment where pets are welcome. By ignoring them, we reinforce the idea that pets should not be part of our urban environment.

When you travel with your pet or seek out pet-friendly destinations you have certain obligations and rules to follow. By following these rules, we could recreate the great attitude many European countries have toward pets in public. For example, in the UK and France having your dog alongside you in any public space, restaurant, public transport or shop is normal and acceptable.


PICK UP after your dog! This goes without saying and is crucial to keeping NZ beautiful and clean. Even better, be eco friendly and pick up after your dog using an amazing biodegradable product such as kiwi owned Eco poop bags. Always dispose of the bag in a bin.

Check out our ‘Are you an environmentally aware pet owner?‘ blog for more info.

Eco poop bags-pick up after your dog and be kind to the environment
Out and about? Always pick up after your pooch

Lead the way

USE A LEAD. When an area is designated as “on-lead only”, dogs must stay on their lead and obey the rules. There will be reasons for this! Protecting natural life — both flora and fauna — is an important reason why dogs may be required to stay on-lead. Also, other members of the public may not feel safe or comfortable knowing your dog is off-lead. Under NZ law, you can be fined $200 for not having your dog under control and on a lead in a public place. Why not check out the Council and DOC websites for local information. This is especially important if you are travelling through a new area.

CONSIDER that not everyone is an animal lover. Many people do not appreciate your pet running up to them or their children, nor do they like sharing a space with an unknown pet.

SOCIALIZE your pet. The more often you take them out and about with you, the more likely your pet is to be relaxed and pleasant company for everyone around them. No one wants to hear relentless barking, whingeing or behaviour that can interrupt or make others feel threatened.

Check out this great article from The Dog Adventure Website about How To Get a Dog to Stop Barking: 5 Top Tips

RESPECT the rules. If you and your pet check into a dog-friendly hotel or accommodation, then do keep your pet off the furniture. Travel with your pets’ own beds, blankets and toys. Keep your pets’ claws trimmed and in good condition. This will prevent them from scratching up floorboards. Be respectful. If your mucky pup needs a good hose down and wash after a muddy adventure, then make sure you clean up afterwards. This all seems like common sense but it’s surprising (and upsetting ) how many pet-friendly accommodation owners have had bad experiences. As a result, many are now unwilling to take on pets. One badly behaved set of pet owners can spoil it for everyone.

Accommodation options when travelling with your dog on holiday


On our three-week tour, we found plenty of great camping grounds that allowed us to bring our dogs. Some places provided exercising areas for our pooches. Others had clear rules to keep dogs off the camping grounds themselves; in those cases, the dogs had to be kept contained in our van. All camp grounds had rules about keeping your dog on-lead at all times.

Pet Friendly Accommodation

There are also a pet-friendly holiday houses or baches available in most areas. Travelling with your dog seems to be a growing trend in NZ which is pawsome! You can follow the following links to find pet-friendly accommodation when on the road

Pet-friendly Airbnb

Pets Can Come Too is a website that helps you find pet-friendly accommodation right across NZ

Dog-friendly holiday accommodation

North Island pet-friendly accommodation

South Island Pet friendly accommodation

Rollicking Gelato in Christchurch, super dog friendly

Travelling with dogs, is NZ as pet friendly as it could be?

On a sunny day, we found it easier to find cafés and restaurants or bars where pets can come, too. It’s common in NZ to find cafés, etc., where they have water bowls outside for your pooches and plenty of space for them to curl up while you have a drink or a bite. Less common is indoor seating where pooches are welcome. Areas especially designed for our four-legged friends or menus that serve canine treats or snacks are rare finds. However, these special places are becoming more popular. So if you discover any places that are this pup-tastic then please let us know!

Miss Muppet loves coming along on coffee dates

We found that once the sun sets or it rains it gets A LOT harder to find somewhere warm and comfortable. So if you know of any great spots we are always keen to hear about them. Please check out our Pet Friendly Café and Restaurant Directory and feel free to send us your top dog-friendly spots nationwide to

Dave and I want to wish you all very happy and safe travels with your fur babies! Please remember to never keep your pet inside the vehicle on a hot day or anytime that temperatures may rise quickly. Always provide your pet with access to fresh water and shade. We highly advise using doggie seat belts. For more information on pet safety please check out some of our other blogs.

Pet First Aid NZ

Pet sharing Safely

Children and dog safety

It’s a big beautiful country we live in. So lets have a great time exploring it with our best four legged friends. We would love to hear all about your adventures and discoveries!

We are always ready and available to help you find a purrfect match.

Woofs & Wags

Lili & Dave 
Top Dogs 

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Good Afternoon!
    Last year you guys stayed at the Abba (in Queenstown) and we loved the post you did about Leia our black lab in instagram.
    As you can imagine, it has been super difficult around here with all this Covid-19 situation, but we remain positive!
    We are writing you because we are updating our webpage and we would love to include a link to your website for our guests to check out before traveling with their pets.
    The fact that we are pet friendly it has been a massive help for the occupancy levels and we would love to push it as much as we can (plus we love meeting new pups every week).
    Please lets know if you are interested and also any advice would be much appreciate it 🙂

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