Blog posts tagged with ‘pets’

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Pet Ownership Responsibilities

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Pet Ownership Responsibilities - Affordabilty

Owning a pet can be joyful and exciting, but it also comes with its share of obligations. Here are a few things to consider before you look at welcoming a furry member to the family.

Affordability

Despite the priceless amount of love and happiness that owning a pet can provide, there are very real costs that come along with bringing one home. After the initial price of adopting or buying your pet, you should consider future and potential costs, such as vaccinations, de-sexing, vet checks and treatments, grooming, pet insurance, training costs, toys and food. It’s a good idea to map out a budget of approximately how much you would be spending a week on owning a pet to be prepared.

Lifestyle

Pets, especially most dogs, love interaction with their owners so it’s important that you give them the time that they need. Walking, training, cleaning up, grooming and playing are all essential parts of owning a pet, which all take up time in your day. If your work and social life keep you out of the house and away from your pet, consider animals that are more independent, like cats, rabbits or birds. Your life stage will also impact what animal is suited to your lifestyle - breed characteristics will help you understand the general profile of a pet; for instance, a cat or older dog generally works well with an older couple, while a great family dog like a Golden Retriever or King Charles Cavalier might be perfect for a young family.  However, pet adoption websites like www.petrescue.com.au can tell you exactly which individual pet will match your family, with individual profiles to tell you who’s a shy cat, and who is a boisterous pup!

Pet Ownership Responsibilities

Space

The final frontier. Whether you live in a tiny apartment or a on a big farm, there is a pet for you. If you are living in a smaller space and looking for a dog, bulldogs, which are content with just a short walk, or pugs, which are generally known for their quietness and small size, can be great choices. Larger breeds generally need a fenced area or park to stretch their legs and relax their mind. This is not to say you can’t have a big dog if you live in a small place, some large breeds, like a Mastiff or Great Dane mellow as they get older and are happy lazing on the couch. Cats can fit well in most spaces and are generally fairly independent, so can be a great addition to large and small places alike. Finally, if you already have a pet in the home, think about how they may react to a new member in their space. Some cats and dogs get along like best friends, but others may be territorial.

Clearly, owning a pet is not without responsibility, but if you put the thought in beforehand, you are increasing the likelihood of a great life for you and your new animal.  If you tick yes to all the items on the checklist below then it’s the right time to welcome a pet into your life.

  • Can I afford this pet?
    • Price of adopting
    • Vaccinations
    • Food
    • De-sexing
    • Vet checks and treatments
    • Grooming
    • Pet insurance
    • Training costs
    • Toys
  • Does my current lifestyle accommodate for a pet?
  • Does my space work with the animal I want?
  • Will a new animal fit in with any other pets in my home?
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Pets - A Neighborhood's Best Friend

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New Australian research suggests pets are a valuable and positive feature of community and neighbourhood life. The University of Western Australia study was sponsored by the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition and was led by Dr Lisa Wood, School of Population and Global Health.

 

Fast Facts

The latest study1 by the University of Western Australia found:

  • Over 60% of dog owners reported they got to know their neighbour through their pet
  • For owners of pets other than dogs almost a third said they got to know neighbours through their pet
  • Pets facilitated first meeting and conversations between neighbours
  • Dog walkers were more likely to have a higher social capital score than dog owners who did not walk their dog

The release of the research coincided with a speech from high profile veterinarian Dr Chris Brown who urged local councils to be more pet-friendly in a major speech at the National General Assembly of Local Government.

 

 

New Australian research suggests pets are a valuable and positive feature of community and neighbourhood life. The University of Western Australia study was sponsored by the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition and was led by Dr Lisa Wood, School of Population and Global Health.

Fast Facts

The latest study1 by the University of Western Australia found:

  •          Over 60% of dog owners reported they got to know their neighbour through their pet
  •          For owners of pets other than dogs almost a third said they got to know neighbours through their pet
  •          Pets facilitated first meeting and conversations between neighbours
  •          Dog walkers were more likely to have a higher social capital score than dog owners who did not walk their dog

Drawing from a sample of more than 2,500 pet and non-pet owners across three U.S. cities (San Diego, Portland and Nashville) and one Australian city (Perth) the research reveals owning a pet, irrespective of the type of animal it is, is linked to increased perceptions of trust in the community and increased social capital (formation of strong networks and positive relationships between people).

 UWA lead researcher Dr Lisa Wood said the notion that pets can help to facilitate the ‘glue’ that holds communities together went far beyond the role of pets as a conversation starter or icebreaker.

 “What we are interested in is the extent to which pets contribute to the social fabric of a community by forging connections and trust between people,” Dr Wood said.

 “In our increasingly busy and technology dominated lives, people can often feel disconnected from their local community, and this can impact negatively on mental health.  But pets are a natural antidote to this, and can help strengthen the social fabric of our neighbourhoods.”  

 In the study, the researchers measured differences in the level of social capital between pet and non-pet owners. Social capital was measured with questions about trust in others, whether people are willing to help one another or exchange favours, community involvement, and whether or not they had gotten to know people in their community.    

 “We found people who owned a pet had higher social capital than non-pet owners in all the cities studied, and this was not just limited to people who owned a dog, or who walked their dog in the neighbourhood,” Dr Wood.

 Dr Wood said overall, 60 per cent of those surveyed who owned a dog got to know their neighbours better and 25 per cent of those who owned another type of pet  got to know their neighbours better.  “Our findings suggest that even incidental social interactions can contribute to enhanced social capital, as people are then less likely to feel that they live amongst total strangers,” Dr Wood said.

 The importance of pet ownership in bringing communities together and increasing perceptions of trust has important implications for town planners, local government and housing bodies.

 “In Australia, pets have traditionally been more likely owned by people living in detached housing with backyards, with many apartments and retirement villages still defaulting to a ‘no pets’policy,” Dr Wood said.

 “By contrast, in cities in Europe and the U.S. with a longer history of higher density apartment style living pets are more readily accepted in residences of this type.”

The release of the research coincided with a speech from high profile veterinarian Dr Chris Brown who urged local councils to be more pet-friendly in a major speech at the National General Assembly of Local Government.

 

 

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Keeping Australia Pet Friendly with The Village Vets

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The stars of the LifeStyle Channel's hit show The Village Vets Anthony Bennett and James Carroll chat about why they support Dr Chris Brown and the Keep Australia Pet Friendly campaign.

Browsing the internet and seeing the cult following that our furry friends are garnering on social media and the almost guaranteed success of any you-tube video involving a cute cat, it’s hard to believe that dog and cat ownership in Australia is declining, but surprisingly that is the case.

A quick snap poll around our vet clinic garnered absolute surprise at this fact, but research is showing that cat numbers fell by 200,000 or approximately 15% and dog numbers by 100,000 or approximately 2.5%.

This trend is alarming given how important pets have been shown in improving people’s physical and mental health and well being. Through their ability to keep us active (dogs aren’t too fussed that it’s raining and cold – they want that walk anyway!) and interacting (anyone who has been single for an extended period of time has probably had a dog thrust upon them by a well meaning relative as a great way of meeting people), pets have been proven to be great allies in day to day life – particularly some of the more challenging phases we may encounter.

 After calming down from their initial shock everyone asked the obvious question – why? Various reasons have been espoused to explain what may be occurring. It’s worth noting that the population of pets is also ageing, much as our human population is, so this is likely that we are seeing the start of a trend with older dogs and cats not being replaced with puppies and kittens.

Firstly, not all of the places that we live are pet friendly. With increasing housing density more and more of us are living in apartments. This means that not all of us are able to keep a pet, in whatever form that may take. Importantly, government reform has started to take place, with NSW recently changing the default position to allowing pets in strata in the standard strata by-laws.  Apartment living is never easy but with careful management and a little effort it is very easy to have pets in strata and keep all the inhabitants happy.

Responsible pet ownership is a really important point. In the dozen years that we have been practicing as vets, adherence to responsible pet ownership laws has dramatically improved, and the landscape has changed significantly with far less issues pervading in general. What this means in practice is that we take ownership and what that entails seriously, however it’s important that there isn’t too much red tape stopping people enjoying the benefits of pet ownership.

As a society, we believe that it is really important that we embrace pet ownership as something that is entrenched in what we do. For many people pets form an important part of their family and an enormous part of their lifestyle. And who wouldn’t want to embrace something that will improve your self esteem, health and activity levels. The more we can set up pet friendly spaces, cafe’s, off leash areas and ways to celebrate pet ownership, the more of these benefits will flow on to society.

And at the end of the day, good or bad, fun filled or lousy, stressful or relaxed, what could be better to come home to than the cat curled up on the couch waiting for your arrival or the wagging tail of your four- legged friend. The companionship of any form of pet ownership is invaluable – and these social media juggernauts aren’t going to feed themselves!

You can follow the campaign on social media here: https://www.facebook.com/keepauspetfriendly/ and don't forget to share your stories and photos with us using #KeepAusPetFriendly

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