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AusPet 2018 - Friday October 19 - Trade PLUS Saturday October 20 & Sunday October 21 - Public
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To promote, support and represent a sustainable pet industry because we recognise that pets and their welfare are essential for a healthy society.
This ensures our members thrive and our Association continues to represent the majority of the industry.
The biggest pet welfare problem in Australia is owners not taking care of their animals’ mental health, a vet behaviour specialist is warning.
“We know that at least 20 per cent of dogs have some kind of anxiety issue, which is about the same rate as in people,” Dr Kersti Seksel.
“I think the biggest ethical issue is that people won’t treat their animals for their mental health issues… for me that’s the welfare issue for the dog.
“It’s nice to see we’re finally putting some money into dealing with mental health for humans and hopefully that’ll roll across and we can look after our pets better as well.”
Dr Seksel is one of the country’s only behaviour specialists for animals which means she’s a psychiatrist for pets.
She deals with all kind of ethical issues like owners asking for their pets to be put down because they can’t deal with them any more.
“We unfortunately see that a lot if the owners don’t come to me early in the piece… we try and help as many dogs as we can and sometimes the owners are at the end of their tether and they don’t know what else to do,” she said.
“I always try and explain to the owner what’s going and what the pet’s doing… for example the dog’s not trying to be bad or dominate but it’s actually distressed and once owners understand that it’s easier for them to look after their pet.”
Joey, 16, hired a dog counsellor and trainer because his pets seemed unhappy.
“I didn’t know the dogs were anxious but knowing that now I hope that they feel less anxious cause this is their house and we want them to feel comfortable,” he says.
His dogs have the equivalent of anxiety, stress, ADHD and boundary problems.
According to their counsellor, Nathan Williams, it’s because these dogs didn’t grow up with their mum so they didn’t learn how to deal with their mental health at a young age.
Nathan says pet owners often project human behaviours onto their animals which can be a cause of mental health problems for dogs.
“Dogs are so different to people and that’s why everyone has problems because of anthropomorphism we have this perspective of dogs that they must be like us,” he said.
Bailey, 19, has had pet birds for most of his life.
His current bird Shakira is a cockatiel and Bailey says she offers a lot to his house.
“Sometimes dinner, breakfast lunch she just hangs with us and eats a bit of food… yeah she’s just self sufficient she’s there for us we’re there for her,” he said.
Bailey says he thinks about his bird’s feelings to make sure she’s comfortable.
He thinks Shakira is just as sentient as other animals despite being a bit of an obscure pet.
“Whenever I come home she’s always going crazy like she knows as soon as I wake up or when I walk in the door she knows I’m home… you can tell that she enjoys it,” he said.
“I think we all enjoy having her here… she’s just a good part of the family to have around.. I think we care for her pretty well and she enjoys it.”
Travelling with our four-legged friends is sometimes a necessity and other times it is something we truly enjoy with them. Whether we’re taking them to a local veterinarian or half-way across the country for business or leisure, we need to take basic safety precautions to ensure this journey is safe for them. There’s many obvious techniques we’re already implementing to ensure we all arrive safely at our chosen destination. For example, as human travelers we’re all buckled up and animals are either put into crates, secured into special harnesses or other devices used in the prevention of injury as the result of an unforeseen accident. It’s just common sense nowadays and in many places around the world, it’s becoming the law. So let’s check out these other, sometimes less-obvious tips on how to safely transport our pets:
1 - Pit Stop Perils
During long journeys, we all need to stop for bathroom and meal breaks or to simply stretch our legs after many hours in an automobile. Rest areas, campgrounds, parks and other outdoor areas are popular places to stop for a pet-friendly breather. But be sure you’re well educated on outdoor pests that could be a threat to your pets.
2 - H₂O Woes
Also at these rest areas you’ll often find water, shade and other amenities, but when it comes to their H₂O consumption, you’re better off with bottled water. Your pet’s stomach or digestive system may react negatively to some of these unusual water sources.
3 - Travel Treasures
While we’re already bringing along their food and water, dishes and leashes, don’t forget to pack their medications and a first aid kit for them as well. Since we never know what will happen out on the open road, we should always be prepared with basic medical supplies in case of an unexpected accident or injury.
4 - Proper Paperwork
It’s also wise to bring along important documents that prove your pet is healthy enough for travel and up-to-date on their vaccinations. This paperwork should also include microchip information in the unlikely event you become separated from your pet. While this type of documentation isn’t usually required (aka a pet passport) unless you’re travelling outside of the country, it’s still a good idea to keep in on hand, just in case.
5 - Familiar Features
Be sure to bring along their favorite blankets, toys or other items that are familiar to them and have their unique and pet-friendly scent attached. This sense of home and familiarity will make them more comfortable during the journey.
6 - Pet Policies
If you’re staying overnight at a pet-friendly location, be sure to check their pet policies prior to booking. For example, some may have restrictions on the size, breed or type of animal they’re willing to accomodate. They may only have certain rooms available that are deemed pet-friendly, charge a small fee or deposit for their stay. Also, you shouldn’t leave your pet alone and unattended in this type of an environment, which could also be a part of their pet policy.
7 - Crate Critique
Pointers on a proper crate include one that’s large enough for them to stand, sit, turn around and lie down comfortably. It should also be properly ventilated and secured inside of the vehicle so it can’t slide or shift as the result of a sudden stop or when travelling through curvy or mountainous terrains.
In closing, it almost goes without saying, but you should never leave your pet alone or unattended in a parked car. Besides the threat of them becoming either overheated or too cold (depending upon the time of year), they’re also at risk of being stolen. Let’s all keep our pets safe when we’re out on the road and happy travels to you and your best friend!
Article courtesy of Amber Kingsley.
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