According to the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), more than 63% of Australian households own pets, with 39% owning a dog. That is approximately 19 dogs for every 100 people. In addition, 91% of current owners have said that they consider their pets a part of the family.
However, while Australia has one of the highest pet ownership in the world, the social problem is that we are not particularly welcoming when it comes to integrating dogs into the public community. Besides registered service dogs, Australia does not allow them on public transport or in most restaurants, shops and workplaces. The problem is not that dog friendly facilities do not exist in Australia, it is there is not enough.
The lack of such dog-friendly amenities is taking its toll and pet ownership rates in Australia is rapidly declining, with dog population dropping by 100,000 in 12 months alone. Exercise and socialisation is especially important to a domestic animal’s wellbeing and thus little access to outdoor public areas makes pet ownership a lot harder and less enjoyable in Australia.
“Paws Permitted” is a social media campaign designed to promote the integration of dogs into public spaces in Australia. Instead of being locked away in backyards and missing out on important socialisation, dogs should be allowed to come alongside their owners in shops, parks, workplaces and rental homes and on public transport.
We call them a man’s best friend, yet why are they not welcomed into society? Let’s make Australia a more dog-friendly country.
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