Australia not as pet-friendly as we thought

Australia not so pet-friendly, according to research.
Australia not so pet-friendly, according to research. Ali Kuchel

NEW research released today revealed that Australia is not as pet friendly as it needs to be to stop the decline in pet populations.

Launched by well-known Veterinarian Dr Chris Brown, the 2015 Pet Positives Score, produced by Mars Petcare has identified the most important factors that contribute to pet friendliness and reveals just how our regions stack up against them.

With recent research pointing to a decline in cat and dog populations in Australia, experts are concerned that fewer pets could have a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of Australians. Decades of research has found that pets offer a range benefits to their owners from childhood well into old age. Pet owners have been shown to exercise more, have greater self-esteem and are able to cope with social rejection better than non-pet owners.

Places being pet friendly is one of the best ways to encourage pet ownership and we have no shortage of dog-friendly cafes in the Clarence. The Pet Positives Score ranked cities and states based on a range of nine pet-friendly criteria with scores coming in surprisingly low across the board.

Melbourne and the Gold Coast came in as the most pet friendly locations. While Sydney, regional Queensland and regional South Australia came in at the bottom of the leader board.

Adelaide and Canberra took the title for most dog friendly cities, while Melbourne came in as most cat friendly city with a score.

Dr Chris Brown commented on the importance of addressing pet friendliness in our cities saying, "Pets can help their owners stay physically and emotionally healthy. However, there are a range of reasons that people can be deterred from pet ownership and we need to find ways to keep Australia pet-friendly so that future generations can continue to enjoy the benefits of a furry friend."

The Pet Positives Score findings highlight the importance of improving pet friendly access to outdoor public areas, considered by far the most important attribute to pet owners.

Sylvia Burbery, Managing Director of Mars Petcare Australia, commented on the results of the research saying, "It is clear from the Pet Positives Score results that while Australians love our pets, we aren't doing enough to ensure that our communities and families continue to reap the benefits of pet ownership. While some cities like Melbourne have access to public transportation and a wide variety of indoor and outdoor public areas for pets, others still have a ways to go in ensuring pets stay front of mind."

Topics:  cats dogs pets

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