The Pet Industry Association demands exacting standards from our members to ensure the welfare of animals and promote responsible pet ownership.

Supporting the industry through advocacy

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What we believe

The Pet Industry Association is the only industry association in Australia created to represent all businesses in the pet industry. Formed in 1979 as the PIJAC, we have evolved into a peak organisation which aims to create an environment of best practice principles and ongoing learning for improved technology and systems in the pet industry. The Pet Industry Association is run by members for its members and offers a voice for all who join by liaising with governments, animal welfare agencies, as well as pet and animal groups nationally and internationally. We are represented on government steering committees, consultation and advisory groups on pet ownership and industry issues around Australia.

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 PIAA National Code of Practice and Code of Ethics are quality standards for the operation of businesses in the pet industry supply chain. The Code sets standards that exceed current regulatory requirements. Compliance with the code is a mandatory requirement for membership of the PIAA. An Ethics and Complaints Committee adjudicates any complaints against activity deemed in contravention of the code.
PIAA is a member of the Australian Companion Animal Council and is represented on and works with Aquatic committees nationally, including OFMJG and the NSW Ornamental Fish Reference Group, Animal Welfare Advisory Committees in QLD, NSW, NT and the ACT, the Domestic Animal Management Implementation Committee in Victoria and the Dog & Cat Management Board in South Australia. We’ve also worked closely with the governments in QLD, NSW and SA on pet shop codes of practice. PIAA also holds a seat on the NSW Government’s Companion Animals Taskforce.

Latest news

Why is Puppy Socialisation so Essential?


Puppies aren’t born knowing how to live with humans! Socialisation is the process during which puppies develop positive relationships with other living beings. The most sensitive period for successful socialisation of your puppy is during their first 3 to 4 months of life.

This is when sociability outweighs fear and this is the most important time for adapting to new people, places, animals and experiences.


Puppies that receive insufficient socialisation during this time are more likely to develop behaviour problems later in life, including fear, avoidance and/or aggression, commonly seen as barking and growling at visitors and lunging at other dogs on walks.

To develop into normal, friendly and confident adults, puppies need regular handling and exposure to new and novel situations during this period.

Most importantly, the exposure needs to be controlled so that it is a positive experience for the puppy, not threatening. For example, exposure to other dogs should be with well-mannered dogs rather than those who play in an overly aroused manner or cause fear.


While you want to start handling and socialising your pup as soon as possible, a puppy also needs interaction with its mother and litter mates to learn social skills and appropriate play behaviour, so the best age to obtain a pup is around 8-10 weeks of age.

Pick a reputable breeder where the pup has already had early handling, which means that they tend to be more confident, social, exploratory, faster maturing and better able to handle stress as they develop. If you have cats, it would be advantageous to choose a breeder that has already exposed the puppies to cats.

It would also be wise to pick a breeder who rears the pups in the home so they are already exposed to normal household noises and a variety of people.

Genetics also influences a puppy’s behaviour – some breeds are more outgoing than others, and behavioural traits are also inherited from its parents, so observing the puppy’s parents interacting with their owners, and with you as strangers, is also recommended.

Then the individual puppies in a litter will all have different personalities – choose one that is sociable, affectionate, and playful, avoiding overly shy or aggressive puppies.
If a breeder doesn’t want you to come to their house, see where the pups are raised or see the parent dogs, you should be wary and question why.


Once your puppy comes home, you can continue the socialisation process by:

* Exposure to a wide range of people, including children, toddlers, babies, women and men, including men with beards, caps, sunglasses, hoodies, boots, etc.
* Exposure to household noises e.g. vacuum cleaners, radios, TV, blenders, banging, kids running around, bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, prams, microwaves etc.
* Gentle handling of the ears, feet, tail, mouth, and collar daily
* Travelling in the car
* Spending time in a crate and being left for short periods of time
* Walking on a lead
* Getting used to walking on different surfaces like concrete paths, the beach, grass and wet grass (so the pup will still toilet outside in the rain)

* Introducing to different vaccinated dogs and exposure to other animals e.g. cats in a positive way
* Eating meals from food puzzle toys
* Playing with toys, with you and alone
* Commencing house-training
* Learning to sit for greetings instead of jumping up
* Attending puppy preschool
To help you do achieve this, provide a reward such as a food treat when then puppy is exposed to a new stimulus, so that it associates the experience with a reward. Otherwise, positive reinforcement in the form of a pat or praise is effective. Control the exposure so that is gradual and non-threatening, and reward all calm behaviour shown by the puppy.

For example, have someone turn the vacuum cleaner on briefly and far away, feeding the puppy treats continuously. If the puppy does react, the vacuum cleaner is too close or too loud. Try again further away and reward the pup for calmness. Gradually move the vacuum closer over a period of time as indicated by your pup’s reaction.



Supervise children, starting with one at a time, then the neighbours’ children, then progress to parties with balloons, music and games. Teach the children to interact calmly and offer the pup tasty treats or toys to play with. This will teach the puppy to look forward to meeting them.
Similarly, invite a variety of people over (one or two at a time) and have them offer the pup treats (or its daily kibble), get the postman to offer the pup treats and take your pup out with you to meet new people in safe places or while the pup is small enough to carry.
Many short car trips will help reduce travel anxiety.

If the puppy is initially fearful or shy in any situation, let it retreat to somewhere that it feels safe, do not force it to confront the situation.


Puppies should be encouraged to have naps in safe places like a crate or pen so they are less stressed if they need to be hospitalised or confined for travel.

Their crate can be taught to be a safe place by feeding the pup there and providing favourite toys, for short periods initially so that it doesn’t show distress or fear.

Leave the crate open to start with so the pup can come and go.

Pups that can amuse themselves and tolerate being left alone for short periods may be less likely to develop over-attachment to owners and separation anxiety when the owner leaves.


There is a compromise with opening up the world to puppies, in that they will not yet be fully covered by vaccination. However, the benefits of socialisation outweigh the health risks, and there are low risk environments such as friends’ houses with vaccinated dogs, and puppy classes.


Puppy classes are highly recommended to help teach basic commands, to socialise with other puppies and their owners outside of their familiar home, and to learn some basic health points. They usually consist of 3 or 4 sessions at your vet clinic, starting at 6-8 weeks of age, after your pup has had its first vaccination.

Pups up to 16 weeks of age can attend. Older pups and adult dogs can attend age or size-appropriate classes or training schools.

Socialising doesn’t stop there! Continued positive exposure to a variety of people and other animals, new environments and stimuli, as the pet grows and develops, is also an essential part of maintaining good social skills.

Above all, HAVE FUN!


Dr Julia Adams, BVSc, is a veterinarian and animal behaviour consultant in Cootamundra, NSW.

She is passionate about educating pet owners and helping them overcome behaviour issues that negatively affect their lives and the relationships they have with their pets.

First published on Australian Dog Lover  on 18/12/2016. 

Fair Work Act and your Workplace

What is the Fair Work Act and does it cover your workplace?

The Fair Work Act is effectively an overhaul of current Workplace Law and commenced on 1 July 2009 – with significant elements commencing to operate from 1 January 2010. The new legislation replaces the previous ‘Workchoices’ regime; retaining some elements and introducing completely new ones.

Like the previous Workchoices legislation, the Fair Work Act uses the ‘Corporations’ head of power of the constitution. As such all ‘Constitutional corporations’ are covered by the legislation. In brief, a constitutional corporation includes all ‘foreign corporations’ and all ‘trading’ and ‘financial’ corporations formed within Australia. If the entity is a Pty. Ltd it is most likely covered; however where trading activities are minimal it will be a question of degree in each circumstance.

Sole traders and partnerships in all States but for WA are now also covered by the Act due to the referral of IR powers by the States; which became effective on 1 January 2010.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

The enforcement and compliance provisions of the proposed legislation are similar to those in the current Workplace Relations Act – however the remedies available for breach of industrial instruments (Awards and Agreements) has been expanded to include injunctions, compensation and other orders. Maximum penalties for civil penalty provisions remain at $33,000 for employers who are corporations.

What are General/Workplace Protections?

The Act streamlines a range of workplace protections (‘employee workplace rights’) including in relation to misrepresentation, discrimination, coercion, freedom of association, industrial activity and individual flexibility agreements (which refer to the ability to contract out of specific award terms subject to the better off overall test) – but also significantly enhances employee rights. The Act introduces a ban on taking any ‘adverse action’ for a discriminatory reason or in because a person has a workplace right or proposes to exercise a workplace right. Caution will need to be used when taking action in respect to employees (or prospective employees) to prevent a breach of these rights.

What are the rules around Unfair Dismissal for small business (>15 employees)

Under Workchoices an employee working for an employer of less than 100 employees had no jurisdiction to take an unfair dismissal claim. The exemption is gone. Under the new system an employer of less than 15 employees can take an unfair dismissal claim after completing 12 months service. Additionally, such an employer need only comply with the ‘small business fair dismissal code’ in terminating an employee – if they do so they will not breach the unfair dismissal provisions. Determining compliance with the code, will however, not be a simple matter as the concept of reasonableness in the code remains open to interpretation.

What are the rules around Unfair Dismissal for medium sized business (>15 employees)

Employers employing in excess of 15 employees will have a six (rather than 12) month exemption period from unfair dismissal claims, however once an employee has 6 months service they have jurisdiction to make a claim. The small business fair dismissal code does not apply to these employers, who will be required to comply with the ordinary termination provisions of the Act.

What are Modern Awards and how do employers comply?

Approximately 5000 State and Federal Awards have been replaced by around 120 ‘modern’ awards. The Awards commenced to operate from 1 January 2010 for constitutional corporations; although for most Modern Awards the pay rate, penalty and allowance provisions commenced from 1 July 2010 on a transitional basis. Non-constitutional corporations covered by the Fair Work Act due to the referral of IR powers became covered from 1 January 2011; with rates commencing from 1 February 2011. Together with the National Employment Standards (discussed below) modern awards form the new safety net for employees. In certain circumstances, employees earning in excess of $113,800 (indexed) per annum will be award free.

What are the National Employment Standards and how do employers comply?

The new Fair Work Act has introduced a set of 10 National Employment Standards (NES) which will apply from 1 January 2010 and, as indicated above, will act as a safety net for employees. The 10 NES are:

  1. Maximum weekly hours of work (38 ordinary plus reasonable additional hours).
  2. Requests for flexible working arrangements (for children under school age).
  3. Parental leave (ie unpaid birth-related and adoption related leave).
  4. Annual leave.
  5. Personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave.
  6. Community service leave (including jury service).
  7. Long service leave.
  8. Public holidays.
  9. Notice of termination and redundancy pay.
  10. The Fair Work Information Statement

Terms and conditions of existing AWA’s, ITEA’s, Workplace Agreements, common law contracts and future Awards and Enterprise Agreements must meet the new standard – regardless of the actual term within (for instance) a current agreement. This means all current agreements must be reviewed for compliance.

Is an Enterprise Agreement an option for your workplace?

Any company employing two or more employees has the option of implementing an Enterprise Agreement. The legislation ensures that individual agreements (AWA’s) and their ‘short-term replacement ( ITEA’s) will no longer be available. The Act does away with the union/non-union distinction previously available under Workchoices – so while all agreements are between employers and their employees a union can seek to be a party where they are a bargaining agent for an employee. The No-Disadvantage test is replaced by the ‘better off overall test’ (BOOT). Advantages of Enterprise Agreements - such as their ability to operate for an extended period and cover all new employees for that period (4 years under new legislation, 5 years previously) and preventing unlawful industrial action during their life – remain.

Where do common law contracts stand under the new legislation?

Common law contracts are also subject to the requirements of the National Employment Standards and (where applicable) a Modern Award. Therefore, all such agreements must be reviewed and altered to ensure compliance. Of course, there are many other provisions available to employers to include in common law contracts of employment to ensure protection of liability and for reliance upon in the event of termination and/or dispute. There has never been a more important time to review all employment arrangements for compliance and business efficacy.

What happens to employees not covered by an Award (ie Managers)?

Modern awards are not intended to cover employees, such as managers who, because of the nature or seniority of their role have traditionally not been covered by awards. Additionally, these Awards will not apply to employees with guaranteed annual earnings of more than $113,800 (pro rata for part-time employees). The high income threshold will be indexed annually adjusted each year in line with annual growth in average weekly ordinary time earnings for full-time adult employees. This amount does not include compulsory superannuation.

These employees and their employers will be free to agree on terms to supplement the National Employment Standards (which continue to apply) without reference to an award. The exemption applies if an employer provides a written undertaking to pay an employee annual earnings at or above the high income threshold over a period of 12 months or more. A guarantee for a shorter period may apply in the case of a short-term, fixed-term contract or a particular type of work on a short-term basis. The employer and employee must reach agreement about the undertaking before it commences operation; however once commenced the award will not apply to such employees.

Information sourced from Indigo Field Industrial Relations, for further information please contact them directly on 1300 393 519 or

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Upcoming events

  1. The PIAA presents the 2017 Grooming Competitions

    Tuesday 18 April @ 8:00 am - Saturday 4 November @ 5:00 pm
  2. The PIAA & Oster proudly present AusGroom 2017

    Sunday 11 June - Sunday 18 June
  3. The PIAA presents AusBoard 2017

    Sunday 20 August @ 6:00 pm - Wednesday 23 August @ 5:00 pm
  4. The PIAA & Oster present Groomex 2017

    Thursday 19 October

Find a PIAA member near you

Is your local pet shop, grooming salon, boarding establishment, wholesaler, dog walker, pet minder or service provider a member of the Pet Industry Association of Australia? All of our members must comply with a code of practice to ensure high standards and ethical practices.

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CANINE TRAINER POSITION About the role Newcastle Pet Resort (NPR) is a leader in Dog Boarding, Doggy Daycare and Dog Training in the Hunter Region NSW We are currently recruiting for a permanent / casual Balanced Canine Trainer to join the team at NPR. The successful...

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Franchise Operations Coordinator Wanted

DOGUE HQ IS RECRUITING! Luxury dog grooming spa and retail boutique DOGUE is bringing the finest in canine style and care to Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra through its eight gorgeous boutiques. Experience the DOGUE Difference: Confidence, Style, Fashion and Fun! We...

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Franchise Operations Coordinator Wanted

DOGUE HQ IS RECRUITING! Luxury dog grooming spa and retail boutique DOGUE is bringing the finest in canine style and care to Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra through its eight gorgeous boutiques. Experience the DOGUE Difference: Confidence, Style, Fashion and Fun! We...

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Ex-Display Fish Tanks for Sale in Eastern Sydney

The Pet Shop Eastgardens has some Retail display fish tanks for sale that were removed from the previous fit-out. There are 7 bays available, please make an offer on one or all. Pick up from Eastern Suburbs of Sydney Contact Troy - 0414 927 517...

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Pet Industry Association members can advertise pet industry job vacancies and place classified adverts on this website, as well as getting discounted rates in the Pet Trade Talk newsletter, and a free listing in the Pet Industry Association directory of members. » More reasons to become a member

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