In 2016 it was estimated that there were more than 24 million pets in Australia.
The shift towards higher-density housing in urban areas, particularly in the City of Yarra, is the biggest threat to pet ownership in Australia.
Unsuitable homes and strict body corporate rules that exclude pets in multi-dwelling developments are threatening the viability of pet ownership in Australia.
With almost two in five households owning a dog in Australia and with their population rising by 600,000 from 2013 to 2016, dogs are an important member of many Australian families.
One of Yarra’s neighbouring councils, Hume, conducted a feasibility study highlighting the health and wellbeing benefits associated with owning a dog.
- Pets are shown to greatly increase the quality of life for the elderly;
- dog walkers are more likely to experience social contact and conversation than those that walk alone, and
- dogs motivate their owners to walk more often and meet recommended levels of physical activity.
Of the City of Yarra’s 89 parks, 30 are ‘dog-friendly’.
Dog-friendly parks are open spaces where people and their dogs can recreate together with other people and their dogs.
Urbanisation shouldn’t deter Yarra residents from owning a pet. With a multitude of open spaces within the community that are dog-friendly, the benefits for owners and dogs alike are truly worthwhile.
Written by Nicholas Nakos