ARECENT report commissioned by the Animal Health Alliance titled
State of the Pet Nation said there are 25 million pets living in Australia, or about two million more than the human population.
Sixty- three per cent of households have a pet, with 4.2 million dogs and 3.3 million cats gracing our lives.
A total of 92 per cent of cats and 76 per cent of dogs live partly or entirely indoors, supporting the concept of pets as part of the family.
Pets are such a regular feature in the landscape of our lives their benefi ts can easily be taken for granted.
A perfect example is Coco, a pure black chihuahua that lives on a yacht with her sea- faring family in North Queensland.
Guests of all nationalities are welcomed aboard on a daily basis for a sail out to the reef.
The pocket- sized princess disarms all on board as she innocently entertains and brings people together.
Whether proudly heralding a dolphin sighting or taking a chance to sit in one of the guests’ on- deck bean bags, Coco’s presence unites her family and bonds the guest crew in fi ts of relaxed laughter.
Her presence is understated, but priceless in the way it focuses and connects people.
The joy of pets is companionship and connection.
Where that bond is strong and responsible, the bounty for individuals, families and communities is abundant.
The Animal Health Alliance survey found rental property regulations limited pet ownership, which was not overly surprising.
Thirty- fi ve per cent of those surveyed who were affected by rental property regulations said they would be prepared to pay more for the opportunity to have a pet.
Canny landlords would surely be rethinking their position.
Out of the non- pet owners surveyed, about 60 per cent said they would like to get a pet.
Australians love pets – and for good reason.
The more support animals and their owners can get to preserve their bond, the greater the rewards for all.