Fish bones prompt plea from one man
Being able to walk a dog without fear of them swallowing something they shouldn’t is becoming a big concern for one animal lover.
Dave Cade, known to many as Didymo Dave, says it is time to raise awareness about the risk of discarded fish carcasses.
Over the past month, Cade has been busy looking after many friend’s dogs. While out walking, on three separate occasions in the reserve close to Waitahanui, two of the pups Cade has been looking after have dug up or dragged out a total of four discarded fish remains.
The fish carcasses that were buried, were done so on the Tongariro river mouth.
‘‘I’m more concerned about the bones. I don’t want anybody losing a pet because people don’t discard their fish remains properly.’’
Six month old Ranger was the first pup to dig up buried fish guts and bones while 8 week old, Fly, wasn’t far behind him.
Ranger even dragged a snapper head out of a bush on the reserve.
‘‘If a puppy like the size of the one’s I’ve been looking after can dig and pick them up, then so too can the rats,’’ Cade said.
While Cade is aware there is no actual restriction on gutting and burying fish, he says it will be best practice to take them home.
‘‘You should be able to run your dog around without fear of them choking on something they shouldn’t,’’ he said.
A Taupo District Council spokesperson confirmed there was no restriction against burying fish carcasses on areas that aren’t Council owned but throwing them in the bush could be considered littering.
Callum Irvine, head of veterinary services at the New Zealand Vet Association said it is unusual for dogs to get sick from digging up fish carcasses but there is always a risk of something going wrong.
Rotting flesh always holds a risk and so too, can bones.
‘‘Small bones can get stuck in around the teeth and there is also a very slim chance they could perforate and irritate the stomach,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s just a note for dog owners to be very careful about where their dog digs and what they dig up.’’