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The latest research into pet ownership, conducted with approximately 1,000 Australians by Roy Morgan Research1, has shown that pet owners are more aware of their responsibilities to the environment than they were a decade ago.

"Pet ownership brings many benefits to owners and the communities they and their pets are part of, but it is vital that the responsibilities of being a pet owner are understood and acted on," says Dr Tim Adams from the Petcare Information and Advisory Service.

"The main environmental issues associated with pet ownership are keeping cats in at night and cleaning up after dogs."

"In 1994, when the last research was done, 63% of owners reported that they kept their cats in at night, whereas in 2006 the comparable figure is 78%.

"There are similar improvements in the number of owners who report cleaning up after their dog. 64% of dog owners now report that they 'always' pick up their dog droppings, compared with 33% in 1994.

"It is particularly pleasing that 61% of the general population felt that the extent to which dog owners pick up droppings had either 'increased a lot' or 'increased moderately' since 1994," says Dr Adams.

"As the owner of two dachshunds, a breed that was originally bred to hunt badgers, I am so conscious of the need to check the garden when I go to my weekender. I am lucky enough to have koalas, echidnas and blue tongues lizards visit from time to time. It is my responsibility to check the garden before I let them out in the morning and never to leave them outside in the garden unsupervised," says Carl Carthy, pet lover and CEO of Greening Australia.

Dr Kersti Seksel, President of the Australian Companion Animal Council, says her experience supports the findings of the research.

"There are many people who love their pets and want to do the right thing by the environment. Keeping your cat inside at night and cleaning up after your dog are important ways you can help protect the environment, but training your dog to obey your commands and keeping your dog on a leash in areas where it is required are also important.

"Cats and dogs are not allowed in National Parks but it is also appropriate to keep them out of most State Parks and Marine Parks.

"A number of companies are promoting alternatives to plastic bags for picking up after your dog but biodegradable plastic bags are also an option," says Dr Seksel.

"You can also use recycled paper for cat litter and targeted flea control products that minimize any impact on the surrounding environment.

"The most important aspect of caring for your pets and the environment is that you take responsibility for doing the right thing - and that includes researching the most responsible options for your particular circumstances," adds Dr Seksel.

Further Information
  Dog Waste System
  Bac To Nature Odour Eliminator

Petcare Information and Advisory Service Australia

Last Update: 13/05/08 11:06 Views: 6479

OzPetShop - Pet Products, Supplies and Accessories