Walking, playing and recreating with your dog not only provides you with some vital exercise, it reduces your stress, increases your social interaction with others, and is good for your heart and general health.
A well-exercised dog is happier, more relaxed, better socialised and less likely to bark or cause a disturbance to your neighbourhood due to boredom or lack of stimulation. As well, your garden is less likely to get demolished!
You can take your dog to a variety of areas other than national parks and similar reserves. These include:
Your dog must be under control (will return immediately to you when called if off-lead) at all times and should not disturb wildlife or annoy other people.
Note: Bona fide guide dogs accompanying blind people can be taken into all national parks and similar conservation reserves and state forests. For more information about this please contact the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963.Dogs are permitted in cars travelling on bitumen roads which pass through national parks.
For information on dog friendly parks please see Parks Victoria Dogs in Park webpage. Individual councils make rules regarding where dogs can go and where they can be off-lead. Visit your local council’s offices or website for specifics on your area.
Use Parkweb to plan your park visit
Just click www.parkweb.vic.gov.au to access and download information about Victoria's parks, rivers and bays - print parknotes, discover who the local tour guides are, find out more about where you can enjoy park outings with your pooch.
Taking your dog on a holiday can be fun and rewarding. To have a safe and comfortable trip, take the following items with you:
Airlines, trains, buses, boats, hotels, and motels have their own regulations about dogs. Make sure that you speak to your travel agent or directly to the people concerned well in advance of your trip.
Visit Holidaying with Dogs for information on dog-friendly accommodation around Australia.
National parks and other conservation reserves are there to protect Australia's native wildlife. They are vitally important for the many species whose survival is in danger. Many people travel long distances (even from overseas) to these places to see and enjoy Australian animals and birds in their native habitat.
As a result dogs, cats and other introduced animals are not allowed in national parks and other conservation reserves. Understandably this disappoints some dog owners but the good news is that there are a number of other parks, reserves and forests that allow people to enjoy the great outdoors with their dogs.
In case you think Victoria is tough on dog owners, remember that the same rules apply in every state in Australia and in most national parks around the world.
Important reasons why dogs are not allowed in national parks and other conservation reserves are:
Coastal parks and surrounding beaches are popular places for people to enjoy time with their dogs. However, most coastal parks are incredibly sensitive areas. Strict guidelines have been implemented to allow dogs and their owners to enjoy these places whilst protecting the fragile ecosystems that thrive there.
Many coastal parks only allow dogs to visit between sunrise and 9 am, within specific boundaries. Some areas require dogs to be on a leash at all times where others have been allocated as leash free zones. Any breach of the regulations will result in on the spot fines.
If it's not possible to bring your dog along on your holiday, you'll have to arrange for his care while you're away. One alternative is to have a reliable friend, family member, or neighbour come to your home several times a day to feed, water, exercise, and spend time with your dog. You could also hire a professional pet-sitter to perform these duties.
Another solution is to board your dog at a reputable kennel. Prices and services for kennels vary, but whether you choose your vet's office or a lavish "bed-and-biscuit" resort with complimentary grooming and aromatherapy, keep these considerations in mind. Trust your senses (as well as your common sense) when visiting a kennel as a possible "holiday" spot for your dog.
Dogs Victoria also released an article on Dogs and Health (.pdf) written based on research of the many health benefits appreciated by dog owners.