Welcome to Bumblemom. As my name suggestions, I’m bumbling along as best I can as I navigate a new culture, kids, and style.

Puppy Ownership

Puppy Ownership

I previously posted about how we brought our beloved King Charles Cavalier, Bijou, from the United States to New Zealand. Unfortunately, in March she escaped out of our side gate and was hit by a car. We were devastated to lose her. There were a lot of tears and sadness in our house because she was the best dog we ever had, and we just go her back to us after the long separation during the first part of our move.

Unfortunately, while our landlord was ok with us having an adult dog in the house, she wasn’t on board with a puppy. Part of our rush to get out of the rental house was so we could welcome a new dog into our family. So…. to go along with our new house, we got a new puppy! Meet Tinsley:


She’s another Cavalier we found through Redcrest breeders outside of Auckland. We found Redcrest through a very active Facebook group called Cavalier Chat NZ. (This is maybe the best and highest use of social media: people getting together to celebrate their love of their dogs, sometimes in person and sometimes in matching cavalier pyjamas.)

Puppy vaccines are a little bit different in New Zealand than in the US. For one, there’s no rabies here, so rabies vaccines aren’t a thing. At 6, 9 and 12 weeks, puppies get distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus vaccines. At 9 and 12 weeks, puppies will also get leptospirosis shots. Bordetella vaccines are optional, but recommended if the dog is going to be around other dogs. Like in the US, annual checkups and boosters are needed. Your puppy will receive a small booklet that will contain all of her vaccine information. This is a little different than in the US where the vet would give us a vaccine certificate every time we came in for a new shot. It is important to keep that booklet it a safe place so you can bring it back each visit.

Worming seems to be a bigger deal in New Zealand than in the US. Back in the States, I gave our dogs a monthly dose of Trifexis for flea and heartworm prevention. Here, our vet recommends Advocate once a month or Milbemax monthly up to six months, then every 3-6 months after that. For fleas, she recommends Bravecto as it also lasts 3 months. One thing that is especially fantastic is that all of these flea and worming medications are available at all of the local pet stores. There’s no need to get them from the vet like we did in the US. No prescription is required, though the pills are usually kept behind the counter.

All puppies over three months need to be microchipped and registered with the Auckland Council. Our registration cost NZ$121. Once they’re properly registered, you’ll receive a tag (this year, it is yellow) to attach to her collar to show that you’re legit. Something to note: there is also a national microchip registry that you may want to add your dog to if you plan on traveling around the country.

New Zealand is incredibly dog friendly and we are so excited to have a pup back in our lives. There are lots of fun places to take dogs around Auckland, but there are a few things to be aware of. First, while most beaches are dog friendly, they are not ALL dog friendly ALL the time. Before you go, check out this website to determine when dogs are allowed and under what restrictions. Many will have different hours for on and off leash requirements or simply ban dogs during high traffic times. It can be very confusing to keep them all straight, so double check if you’re in doubt.

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Secondly, don’t assume that all dogs are up to date on vaccines. I’ve been shocked at how few checks there are to ensure that dogs are properly vaccinated. Unlike in the US, the groomers don’t require an up to date vaccine certificate to accept a dog. When registering Tinsley, the Council asks about microchipping and spaying/neutering, but not vaccine status. Recently, there were reports of dogs in west Auckland running around with Parvo. The moral of the story? Protect your dog because there’s no guarantee that all dog owners are responsible.

Thirdly, dogs are treated like mini-humans. There are water bowls outside of many restaurants, real estate agencies, and parks. Dog jackets and rain coats are a booming business, as are treats and chew toys. It is not unusual to roll up to a cafe and see a table full of humans each with a dog or two laying patiently beside their chairs. Dogs are welcome all over the place, and people are always out and about with their well dressed companions. Perhaps in a natural response to the dog-inclusive culture, the dogs here seem to be freakishly well behaved. I can only hope the good behaviour rubs off on our little girl. She’s off to a great start so far!

Side note: Want to follow Tinsley’s adventures? You can follow her on Instagram.

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