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Latest News

A boutique indoor event for dog lovers in the Canberra region A Pooch Affair returns for the fourth year to Exhibition Park on Saturday 16th June, 2018This year's theme is Denim and Diamonds so start planning your dog's outfit to dazzle the crowds!

Sponsored this year by Royal Canin, this event is an opportunity for those active in the dog community as well as those whose companion animals are a part of the family.

2018 Event Highlights

The Doggie Mall provides retail relief for those looking for the latest trends or a special treat. 

For those wishing to dine in style with their pup, one the event's highlights is the elegant High Tea with Dogs.

This year's High Tea theme is Denim and Diamonds so you're encouraged to bling your pooch up for a chance to win the Best Dressed competition with prizes provided by Pupcake Bakery and Phil Kavanagh.

High Tea tickets are $49 per adult and $15 per dog. This includes your entry to the event plus a take home doggie treat bag. Numbers are limited for each session (10:30am, 12:00pm and 1h30pm) and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis so be quick!

Check out the Stage Shows and Entertainment Ring for some canine-centric entertainment.

This year, there will be Two Breed Play Areas providing 24 different play sessions for pooches big and small!

Some of the highlights of the 2018 show will be:
  • Complimentary Pet Pamper Station with special guest: International Certified Master Groomer (ICMG) Melanie Newman
  • Relax in the Doggie Diner with your dog and enjoy a L'Barkery Paw Blonde Doggie Beer, Barkeraide, Puppicino or refreshing pooch sundae!
  • Hourly lucky door prizes
  • Giveaway showbags
If your interest lies in being active with your dogs, there will be lots of options for you:
Come & Try Agility Course
Open Activity

Thanks to  Charity Partner   RSPCA ACT
See how nimble your dog is at the Come & Try Agility Course in Coorong Pavilion! All dogs are welcome to participate and have fun for a gold coin donation to the charity partner, RSPCA ACT.
Dances with Dogs
Dances with Dogs is not about dancing - it is about having fun through learning tricks with your dog and linking them together to build a short routine using a piece of music to provide theme and timing. Check out this amazing display of skill, grace and obedience at the Entertainment Ring in Budawang Pavilion. Check out the schedule for the session time.
Presented by Dances with Dogs
Training using Motivational Toys
Check out the schedule for the session time.
Presented by KONG
Outdoor Tough Mutt Challenge
Do you and your dog have what it takes? Outdoor Obstacle course with a difference! Small participation fee - Profits to RSPCA ACT. Awards presented in the Entertainment Area at the end of the day.
Check out the schedule for the session time.

Presented by K9 Entertainment
Canine Disc & High Jump
Demonstration & Presentation
Check it out at the Entertainment Area in Budawang Pavilion. Check out the schedule for the session time.
Presented by 4 Paws Sports
Noseworks is a wonderful activity for all dogs that uses both physical and mental energy and can be done almost anywhere and anytime and with any ability.

Noseworks uses a dog's massive olfactory senses to hunt smells - their specially designed noses and over 12% of their brains are just for sniffing!

Do your dog a favour and find out more today! Check out the schedule for the session time.

Presented by the Belconnen Dog Obedience Club
Dogs with Disabilities
Check out the schedule for the session time.
Presented by K9 Entertainment
Synchronised Obedience
Obedience is all about demonstrating the dog's ability, intelligence, understanding of the work required, and the cohesion of the handler and dog as a team. Check out this amazing display of synchronised skill and teamwork at the Entertainment Area in Budawang Pavilion. Check out the schedule for the session time.
Presented by the ACT Companion Dog Club
A Pooch Affair is truly an awesome doggie day out – all whilst supporting event charity partner RSPCA ACT.

When: Saturday 16th June 2018, from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Where: EPIC, 
Flemington Rd & Northbourne Avenue, Mitchell, ACT, 2602
The event will be conducted inside Budawang and Coorong Pavilions.

Cost: $15 for adults; $10 concession; free admission for children under 12, dogs are a gold coin donation to RSPCA ACT

Entry tickets are available at the door onlyHigh Tea tickets must be pre-booked online.

For more information, visit

*All dogs MUST be on a lead at all times whilst at the event!*

Vaccinating our dogs is no longer a one-size-fits-all but every dog should be vaccinated. This much is simple.

Vaccination of dogs (and cats) protects them from infections that may be deadly or cause serious disease. However, the way we go about vaccinating our pets has changed over the years. Not so long ago, it was common practice to vaccinate every dog every year with a combination of vaccines

Here in Australia, the usual choice was called a C5, which includes parvovirus, distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, canine parainfluenza virus and bordetella bronchiseptica.

This was considered medically appropriate and a good choice from a legal standpoint because this is how the products were licensed to be used.

It is no longer deemed necessary to give dogs a C5 every year, and we should not be giving our pets any more vaccinations than they need.  

There are some vaccines, such as those for “kennel cough” that still need to be given every 12 months to be effective, and every dog should still go for their annual health check.

Expert groups have been convened to offer guidance on the best way to vaccinate our pets. 
The main group that many of you will have heard of is the WorldSmall Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Vaccination Guidelines Group (VGG)These experts in small animal microbiology, immunology and vaccinology have put together guidelines based on current scientific knowledge.  

These guidelines are the resources to consult when researching vaccination of our pets – NOT certain internet individuals and groups who lack scientific credibility and promote misinformation that often suits their own agenda. Poor advice and fear-mongering from these latter sources has been responsible for some well-meaning pet owners refusing vaccines when offered by their vet. Please, do your research – but use reputable, scientific sources, not those touting the latest all-natural fad. 

Dr Michael Day is chairman of the WSAVA Vaccinations Guideline Group. His research focus is on companion animal immune-mediated and infectious diseases, and he has published over 325 papers in the field of immunopathology as well as authored several veterinary textbooks. You would be hard pressed to find a more highly respected or qualified expert on the subject of vaccination.  

His words are simple – “Failure to appropriately vaccinate your dog or cat makes them susceptible to lethal infectious diseases, and the benefit of vaccination far outweighs any risk of an adverse event following vaccination.” For many, those words are enough. For those wanting a little more information and a deeper understanding, read on.
I encourage every pet owner to have an interest in their dog’s health and well-being and to always ask questions.

How Does Vaccination Work?

A basic understanding of the immune system can help to understand why we vaccinate our pets (and ourselves).  There are two basic halves to the immune system –these are called innate and adaptive immunity.

The Immune System – in a Nutshell

The innate immune system is the first line of defence and reacts quickly but non-specifically to threats. Most vaccines do not stimulate this part of the immune system.

The adaptive immune system takes a little longer to work but is more powerful than the innate immune system and has two very important qualities. 

Firstly, it can specifically target the particular infectious agent that activated it.  Secondly, it can remember infections that it has seen before.  The main players in the adaptive immune system are the lymphocytes and antibodies. B lymphocytes make antibodies while T lymphocytes have other jobs including a process called cell-mediated immunity that does not involve antibodies.  In many infections there is a role for both antibody and cell-mediated immunity in the protective immune response. 

At the conclusion of any immune response, some long-lived lymphocytes retain the memory of that infection, so that future infections are met with a rapid and effective response.  This is the basis of how vaccination works.  When we give a vaccine we are administering a harmless form of an infectious agent leading to generation of an adaptive immune response and creating memory.

Where it starts to get a little complicated ...

The effectiveness of the immune system of any individual dog is partly determined by their genetics.  This is most obvious when we see breed-dependent differences in responses to vaccinations, for example some populations of Rottweilers are unable to make protective immune responses to parvovirus infection (or vaccination).  This, and something called maternally-derived antibody (MDA), is part of why one size does not fit all.
Mum’s immunity protects her babies but also blocks vaccines. Newborn puppies take in antibodies when then drink the colostrum (first milk) from their mother.  These maternal antibodies are absorbed during the first day of life and protect the puppy during their first weeks while their own immune system is developing. MDA is essential for survival during those early weeks. 

However, its presence also prevents the puppy from making its own immune response – and also from responding to vaccines.  Knowing exactly when a vaccine will be effective in any given puppy is difficult.  

The runt of the litter that received less colostrum might be capable of responding to vaccination at 8 weeks of age, whilst a bigger pup from the same litter who got more colostrum may still have persisting MDA blocking their own immunity until 12 weeks. This is why we recommend the last dose of core vaccines for pups be given at 16 weeks of age or older

Unfortunately it’s not feasible to test dams for antibody levels or measure the level of MDA in an individual pup, so repeated vaccination is given – usually around 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age.  
Why not wait until 16 weeks to vaccinate them all and just do it once? 

Because the puppy whose MDA is gone by 8 weeks will be totally unprotected from deadly diseases for 8 weeks.  In particular this is the age where they are at a very high risk of parvovirus

It would be possible if the pups were kept in complete isolation until they were actively immunised, but this is impractical and inadvisable. A puppy who receives no socialisation prior to 16 weeks of age is likely to have a lifetime of problems.

There will still be occasional dogs who are unable to respond by the 16 week vaccination and for this reason we must do one more, usually at either 6 or 12 months of age, to catch these guys and ensure they are covered. 

An alternative to this last vaccination is performing a titre test to check if they are adequately immunised, which is discussed below.

There are a few animals that will be non-responders – that is, they just can’t develop antibody to the virus, regardless of how often they are vaccinated. It is estimated that the number of non-responders to parvovirus is 1 per 1,000 dogs and to Distemper is 1 per 5,000 dogs in the general population.  The non-responders, if infected, will often die.

When the population level of immunity (the ‘herd immunity’) falls below about 65%, there is a risk of outbreaks of that infectious disease. Vaccinating your pet therefore not only protects him or her from infection but is to the benefit of the entire dog population, including those non-responders who are most at risk.  

What are we protecting our dogs against?

Core Vaccines

The core vaccine for Australian dogs is called C3. It covers canine distemper, canine infectious hepatitis and canine parvovirus.

1. Distemper

Canine Distemper is a highly contagious and often fatal disease of dogs throughout the world.  It is still seen commonly in developing countries and also in western countries where animals have not been vaccinated due to negligence or owner beliefs. Eradication of this disease isn’t possible because the virus occurs in wild animals that can then reinfect domestic dog populations.

Distemper can cause respiratory disease with severe pneumonia, gastrointestinal disease, neurological disease, and severe suppression of the immune system leading to infection by normally harmless bacteria and viruses. Common signs are a yellow discharge from the nose, vomiting and diarrhoea, excessive drooling, coughing, laboured breathing, crusty discharge from the eyes, loss of appetite and weight loss. There can also be muscle twitching and seizures.

Vaccination provides prolonged immunity in about 99% dogs receiving a single dose of modified-live vaccine at or after 16 weeks of age.  Dogs develop protective immunity within a few days of vaccination. Distemper is a vaccine preventable disease.

2. Infectious Canine Hepatitis

Infectious canine hepatitis is caused by canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1). Thankfully the disease has been recognized rarely in the last decades in those countries with effective vaccination programmes.

It is still prevalent in developing countries where only a small percentage of dogs is vaccinated and in wild animal populations worldwide.  This means vaccination must be continued in order to prevent outbreaks of this devastating disease. Around 20% of infected animals will die, and this is closer to 50% in dogs less than 12 months old.

Signs are most commonly due to hepatitis and can include lethargy, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and discharges from the nose and eyes.

Dogs are vaccinated for infectious canine hepatitis using a modified-live CAV-2 vaccine which provides cross-protection for CAV-1 and is safer than using CAV-1 itself.
Infectious canine hepatitis is a vaccine preventable disease.

3. Canine Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus is a common, deadly infectious disease of domestic and wild dogs of all ages. Puppies under six months of age are the most severely affected, and most will die without intensive and very costly treatment. 

Porthos (9 months) and as a puppy diagnosed with Parvo
Adult dogs will not necessarily develop disease when infected, but they will shed virus in their faeces and potentially infect susceptible puppies who can then die. 

Parvo is not only spread directly from dog to dog but easily on contaminated shoes, clothing and other materials. It can survive in the environment (cages, kennels, grass, soil) for a year.

Signs of infection include inappetence, depression, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, which is often bloody.  Death can occur within one to three days. Parvovirus can be killed with appropriate disinfectant, but this is not effective in some areas such as grass and soil.  

It is critical that new dogs introduced into an area where parvovirus has been, are vaccinated and have developed protective antibody. If they are not protected by vaccination, they are likely to get infected and die. 

The parvovirus (CPV-2) vaccines, regardless of what variant they contain, stimulate an active immune response that provides long term protection from all current CPV-2 variants (2a, 2b, and 2c). Parvovirus is a vaccine preventable disease.

4. Non-core Vaccines

So we know that our C3 (Distemper, Parvo, Hepatitis) are our core vaccines and are non-negotiable.  What about other vaccines?  

The main ones we consider in Australia are parainfluenza and bordetella, together often referred to as “kennel cough”.  These vaccines induce only short-lived immunity or may simply reduce the clinical signs of disease rather than preventing actual infections.  Because they are less effective, they need be given more frequently in adult animals (as ‘booster vaccines’) in order to retain the immune response. We recommend vaccinating for parainfluenza and bordetella every 12 months in dogs at risk of these infections.

Current international guidelines for vaccination of dogs

Guidelines for canine vaccination began development due to the growing awareness that many vaccines provided a long duration of immunity and therefore did not need to be administered yearly. Like any medical treatment, adverse reactions do occasionally occur following vaccination of dogs, and so unnecessary vaccination should be avoided. 

VGG recommendations may occasionally differ from those made by the manufacturers of vaccines (manufacturer’s recommendations for specific products are supported by studies conducted to obtain a license to sell that product). 

Your veterinarian might decide to follow the advice given in guidelines, even if this conflicts with manufacturer’s recommendations, but should ask for your consent to do this.
The current recommendation is to start vaccination at 6–8 weeks and to revaccinate every 2–4 weeks with the last dose at 16 weeks of age or older.

Following the initial puppy course the VGG recommends revaccination at either 6 months or 1 year of age, then not more often than every 3 years.  If titre testing (see below) is elected instead of the first booster, it can be performed from 20 weeks of age in a puppy that received a vaccine at 16 weeks.  
Puppies with positive results will not need to be vaccinated (or retested) for another three years.  

There are some breeders that recommend their pups not be vaccinated with certain vaccines. If those vaccines are non-core (optional), those recommendations may be acceptable. However, if they are core vaccines, not vaccinating is unacceptable. There should be no dog that does not receive the three core vaccines.  There are also some breeders that recommend splitting doses of vaccine between small puppies. The dose of vaccine is not related to the size of the dog and doing this may result in vaccine failure.  Every dog needs a complete dose.

Titre Testing – another option

Rather than automatically revaccinating adult dogs every three years for the core diseases, another option is called titre testing.  A simple blood test can determine whether an individual adult dog already has immunological protection against these three diseases. If they do, revaccination is unnecessary.

In Australia, titres can be run for all three of our core diseases – Distemper, Parvovirus, and Hepatitis. We don’t run titres for canine cough because it’s not useful. The duration of immunity for canine cough pathogens is 12 months at best, and we must vaccinate annually for those who need it.
Titre tests can be run in the veterinary clinic using kits that your veterinarian can purchase, or alternatively the blood sample can be sent to an external lab for testing. External lab tests cost more and take longer but are more accurate. In-clinic testing is likely to be adequate in most circumstances.  Currently the cost is generally more than a vaccine but no longer significantly so.

Titre testing is great, but it has limitations that we need to understand.  There are so many variables to the immunity produced by vaccination.  The vaccines themselves are not all the same. The individual response of each dog to a given vaccine can also vary widely, depending on their previous exposures to the pathogen, presence of other illness, age etc.  

All of these factors mean the duration of immunity given by a single injection will not be the same from dog to dog.  So what does a positive titre mean? Sure, the dog is protected on the day that blood sample is taken, but for how long?  To date there are no international guidelines to suggest how long we can expect a high titre to stay high for the average dog.  Current advice is that testing should performed every 3 years, but in dogs older than 10 years, this should be done annually.

Adverse effects

Despite being incredibly safe, there can never be a guarantee, in either human or veterinary medicine, that every single administration of a vaccine will be perfectly safe and without adverse consequences. 

On rare occasions, vaccination of a dog or cat might lead to an unexpected clinical reaction. Such reactions are for the most part mild and inconsequential and a simple risk benefit analysis will always suggest that the benefit obtained from having solid immunity to potentially lethal disease far outweighs the small risk of a vaccine-associated adverse event. 

A recent paper based on data compiled from millions of North American veterinary records examined reactions occurring within 3 days of vaccination in 1.2 million dogs receiving 3.4 million doses of vaccine. The prevalence of any type of documented reaction was 38 dogs per 10,000 vaccinated - but the majority of these reactions were mild and of no consequence.
Some adverse vaccine reactions are not observed until days, weeks or even months and years after vaccination or revaccination. Injection site sarcomas in cats may not develop for years after being triggered by vaccines or other injections.  

Some people say vaccines cause autoimmune disease, but there is no scientific evidence that this is so. From the WSAVA vaccination guidelines:  “Vaccines themselves do not cause autoimmune disease, but in genetically predisposed animals they may trigger autoimmune responses followed by disease – as can any infection, drug, or a variety of other environmental factors.”  

Unfortunately, at times vaccines and vaccinations are often mistakenly blamed for causing or triggering various diseases and disorders when the vaccines are not responsible, and other factors (e.g. drugs, environmental contaminants, toxins, chemicals, infection or purely hereditary factors) are the cause of the problem. Often it is difficult or impossible to know if the vaccines and not something else caused the problem, because there are often multiple causes. As stated previously, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should any breeder or owner NOT vaccinate their animal at least once at 16 weeks or older with the core vaccines because they are concerned about adverse reactions.  

So which vaccines does my dog need and when?

Simply not vaccinating is not an option. The risks of contracting life-threatening infectious disease remains potentially high, even in developed countries. Your veterinarian should discuss core versus non-core products, frequency of administration and the option of titre testing with you. Together you can work out what’s best for your individual dog.

written by Dr. Joanna Paul, May 2018 (all rights reserved).

References and further reading can be found here...

Dr Joanna Paul is a Melbourne-based veterinarian who has been working in partnership with pet parents to care for their furry kids for over a decade.

As well as work, she divides her time between her gorgeous dog Billy, a menagerie of other furkids, three children and her own website Creature Clinic for pet parents.
1 in 5 dog owners now spend more time on their pet's health than their own!

A new study finds health and wellness trends are fuelling Australians’ interest in pet nutrition.

New research reveals health and wellness trends are not only impacting consumer attitudes towards their own health, but also driving interest in ‘pet-trition’ awareness. Australians now place so much attention on their pet’s diet that one in five (20%) surveyed said they invest more time in their dog’s nutritional needs than their own.

Commissioned by Purina Beyond, the study shows Australians’ increasing awareness of their own diet and nutrition is influencing their pet food choices.

With nine in ten dog owners (89%) conscious about their own diet, a staggering two-thirds (67%) have become more conscious about what they feed their dog in the last two years. Key reasons for these shifting perceptions are the increase of nutritional information available online (34%) and Australians’ growing awareness of their own health and wellbeing (31%).

Nutrition expert Dr. Joanna McMillan
with her Labradoodle Spartacus
Health and nutrition expert, Dr Joanna McMillan, commented: “With the trend for eating well part of the daily news agenda, people are more aware than ever of what they are putting in their bodies. It’s only natural that they are now becoming more aware about what they feed their dogs. 

Just like other dog owners, I want the best for my pet, so adopting the same nutritional philosophy I follow myself, for my dog – one of all simple ingredients with nothing nasty added - gives me peace of mind that I’m on the right track when it comes to feeding him.” 

Nearly half of owners believe nutrition is the foundation of their dogs’ health (45%). Despite this, two in three (68%) are still unsure about what they should feed their pet.

Purina PetCare Australia Head of Marketing, Nathan Hill, said: “With a vast amount of information available for owners, we understand pet nutrition is often difficult to navigate. Knowing what’s in your dog’s food and understanding their dietary needs can be confusing. We want to support pet owners, by providing complete and balanced nutrition that contains everything their pet needs, so they can feel confident in their choices.”

The findings show the aspects of feeding their dog that consumers find the most confusing are:

  • Whether the food they feed their dog gives them everything they need – 37% 
  • Knowing what nutrition their dog needs – 30% 
  • What to feed their dog to maintain their health and wellbeing – 29% 

Nathan Hill continued: “This research tells us that Australian dog owners are looking for natural food options with ingredients they recognise. To help consumers and make quality pet nutrition as accessible as possible, we created Purina Beyond. It combines selected natural ingredients, plus essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids, as well as containing no artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Dog owners can be confident their pet is getting the nutrition they need, with a taste they’ll love, to help them live a happy, healthy life.” 

For more information on Purina Beyond please visit 

Purina Beyond is available now in a convenient 2.5kg dry food bag in Chicken & Whole Barley, Salmon & Tuna and, Lamb & Whole Barley from Woolworths for RRP $16.99.

About the research

Research commissioned by Purina Beyond and conducted by YouGov in March 2018, amongst 1,025 nationally-representative pet owners in Australia.

About Purina

Quality nutrition and care for cats and dogs has been Purina's focus for over 120 years. William H Danforth established Purina in St Louis, Missouri, USA. His aim was to build a company that would provide the best and purest nutrition for animals in convenient and easy to use foods. The name Purina originates from the company's slogan, "where Purity is Paramount." 

About Purina Beyond

Simple means knowing exactly what your dog is eating – nine natural, recognisable ingredients you know and trust, plus vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It makes for a simple ingredient list, but the recipe behind it is not. We thoughtfully select ingredients that work together to provide the nourishment your dog needs and nothing he doesn’t.

MEDIA RELEASE 24/05/2018
“Choose what’s right for your dogs, not trends” Sydney vet warns pet owners against following food trends blindly.

With so much noise about pet food in the media lately, pet owners in Australia are in a state of flux as to what they should be feeding their dogs.

Sydney’s My Vet Animal Hospital veterinarian and owner, Dr Cherlene Lee, has been educating her clients in pet nutrition for the past four years and warns pet owners on the dangers of following certain food trends.

“Dogs are not human beings and they absorb and process nutrients in a completely different way to us. Whilst these holistic or raw food diets may sound great to you, they can be nutritionally unbalanced or even dangerous to your pets,” said Dr Lee. “For example, researchers at the University of Melbourne found dogs that eat raw chicken meat have an increased risk of developing a rare and fatal form of paralysis, polyradiculoneuritis or APN.”

Dr Lee commented, “From a vet’s point of view, a complete and balanced diet that provides all the nutrients at the correct level your dog needs is the best diet. This can be achieved by choosing a dog food that meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards and passes the AAFCO feeding trial tests.”

The pet food industry in Australia is self-regulated. Most local vets recommend clients to use the AAFCO standards and feeding tests as a guideline when purchasing dog food.

“Much like clinical trials, a pet food that passes the tests means its formulation has undergone rigorous testing to prove itself. As a result, manufacturers can’t randomly change the formulation as they will have to start the feeding trials all over again,” Dr Lee explained.

“Forget about the trends, you should always do what’s right for your dog,” said Dr Lee. “Every pet at different stages of life requires different nutrients – a growing puppy requires more calories, different vitamins and minerals compared to a senior dog that has stopped growing. And the diet should be complementary to therapy if your dog has pre-existing medical conditions, say if a dog has pancreatitis, we will recommend a special low-fat diet.”

For pet owners looking at switching their dogs’ diets, Dr Lee suggested they should consult their vets. “There are so many things a pet owner should take into consideration. Introducing a new diet can be detrimental to your pet’s health if it has an underlying disease. Talk to your vet or even work with a certified veterinary nutritionist before making any decisions.”

Dr Lee and her team work with Massey University’s vet nutrition specialists in tailoring specific diets on pet owners’ requests.

Below are Dr Lee’s top five basic tips for dog owners when choosing dog food:

  • Always choose a dog food that meets the AAFCO standards and passes the AAFCO feeding trials – a dog food that complies with the standards and feeding trails will have this printed on its packaging.
  • Learn to read and understand the labels – Garlic and onions may make the dog food smell good to you but they are toxic to your dogs, even in trace amounts.
  • Consider the age, size and breed of your dogs as they need different nutrients in different stage of life. The packaging of dog food should give you some basic ideas.
  • If your dog has underlying issues, always consult your vet before switching its diet.
  • If you don’t want to feed your dog with dog food, talk to your vet and work on a complete and balanced diet plan together. 

MEDIA RELEASE 23/05/2018
Dr. Chris Brown calls for a 'Fair Go' for Pet Owners ...

Proposed changes to rental legislation in Victoria will open up doors for pet owners and the rest of the nation should follow their lead.

Lead Image: Steve Shaw - Mars Petcare, Jaala Pulford  Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Regional Development, Dr Chris Brown (Photo Credit: Cheyne Tooley)

Australian TV vet and author, Dr Chris Brown is a firm advocate for changing the stigma around pets in rentals and strata.

“Australia is a nation of animal lovers, but our pets deserve a place in our homes as well as our hearts! We need a culture change in the way that landlords and strata corporations see our pets – not to ban them by default, but to look at the family and the pet’s individual personality. Pets have such an incredible impact on people’s lives – we can’t lock the renting generation out of the benefits of pet ownership” said Brown.

A new nationwide survey conducted by Mars Petcare Australia, has revealed that more than 4.3 million Australians struggle to find a suitable place to live with their pet. 

The survey shows that more than three million Aussies aren’t able to keep pets on their properties, and nearly half of all Australians do not know how to apply for a pet from their landlord or strata committee. A staggering 54 per cent of apartment dwellers don’t understand Australia’s regulations and laws about pets or where to find useful information to prepare themselves about this topic.

  • 3.19 million Australians are not allowed a pet where they live 
  • 82% of Australian pet owners say pets improve their quality of life 
  • A further 62% of Australians say that the love of a pet provides emotional benefits and 56% say that their pet provides mental health benefits
  • 48% of renters, or apartment dwellers, do not know how to apply for a pet from their landlord or strata 
  • Victoria is the first state in Australia to propose legislation changes which will allow pets in rental properties.

Sit, but not Stay – the States who are nailing the doggy door shut:

VIC: Proposed legislation to make it easier for tenants to own a pet in rentals
X WA: The state with the highest number of pets being surrendered due to housing rules. 
X QLD: Strongest rules reported in the Sunshine State – 10% of Queenslanders want a pet but feel they can’t because of the rules.

“What I’m saying to renters and owners is to have a go. The best way Australians can get their pets approved is to arm themselves with the knowledge and the ready-made forms on the Pet Positives Hub, which will help build a case to take to a landlord and end the cycle of hiding Fido at the neighbour’s each time an inspection comes around,” added Brown.

Educating Australians on how they can go about requesting access for pets in the home, Mars Petcare’s new portal equips the everyday pet lover with the tools and resources they need to 'Keep Australia Pet Friendly'.

The newly launched online destination includes assets on how to request landlord or strata approval, or for permission to keep a pet on a premise, and how to petition for pet approval.

For more information, please visit 

About Mars Petcare

Mars Petcare is a diverse and growing business with 75,000 Associates across 50+ countries dedicated to one purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS. With 75 years of experience, their portfolio of almost 50 brands serves the health and nutrition needs of almost half the world’s pets.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted by YouGov Galaxy Online Omnibus of 1,050 Australians aged 18 an older and took place between 22-25 March 2018. Age, gender and region quotas were applied to the sample. Following the completion of the interviewing, the data was weighed by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.

MEDIA RELEASE 22/05/2018