SunLive – Put your pets in beach clothes!

Western Bay of Plenty’s popular annual Wander Dog series is offering three neighborhood walks and a Doggy Day Out this summer, where pets are encouraged to don their best beach clothes.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council Animal Services Team Leader Peter Hrstich says it’s exciting to prepare for Wander Dogs’ seventh year.

“WBOP’s four-legged residents deserve to be celebrated this summer, just like their owners.

“Our meetings are not only fun, they are also educational, and people leave with smiles and new information on how to get the most out of their kūri (dog).

“This year we held two winter walks in Katikati and Te Puke for the first time. So it was a no-brainer to bring back the summer series and build on the positive events we hosted during the colder months.

Peter says the walks give dogs and their owners the opportunity to socialize with other animals in a safe environment, and for owners to receive good advice during the information session arranged beforehand.

“The brief power-up chats before the walk begins give owners the opportunity to ask any burning questions to our teams who have a wealth of knowledge about dogs and their behavior.

“In the past we’ve covered topics like dog park etiquette and knowing the other kūri around you.

“If you have a question, here’s your chance to ask.”

The first walk will take place on Saturday December 9 at Puketoki Reserve in Whakamārama.

The dogs and their humans will meet at 9:30 a.m. for a quick question and answer session before leaving at 10 a.m.

The series returns on Saturday, February 3 at Te Puna Quarry Park, then on Saturday, March 2 at Anzac Bay in Waihī Beach.

The question-and-answer sessions will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the march will follow at 10 a.m.

“We’re also going to let loose and wag our tails on Saturday March 16 at Ōmokoroa Sports Ground for our favorite event of the year: Doggy Day Out,” says Peter.

The costume party takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dogs and humans – and humans without dogs too – are invited, with something to please everyone: dog education, stands, music and competitions on the program.

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