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Latest News

Is your artificial lawn a little bit "on the nose"? Do you have ongoing issues with Pet Urine Odour on your synthetic lawn?

The Turf Doctor's new smellBgone range of products are designed specifically to remove odours, deodorise and disinfect these areas.

Non-toxic and biodegradable, the smellBgone infill and liquid products provide a fast, permanent and safe solution to your smelly pet problems!

✔️ smellBgone ‘infill’ product is designed to remain in the turf; it is organic and naturally occurring (similar to sand). 

✔️ smellBgone ‘liquid’ is an anti-bacterial disinfecting deodoriser applied as a spray onto the affected area.

Maybe you are house training your new puppy and only have a balcony or courtyard for them to access during the day? Then the Puppy Trainer bundle (* RRP: $74.95) is perfect for you! 

It includes a Synthetic Turf Pad 1m x 1m with extra free draining backing plus a 1L bottle of pre-mix smellBgone deodoriser.

Maybe you have a smelly problem in your dog run, the sandbox or even indoors? Not to worry –the smellBgone 1L deodoriser (* RRP: $29.95works its magic there, too! 

It is effective on a wide range of surfaces: not only synthetic turf but also concrete or tiled surfaces, wooden floors, carpets, fabric...

Learn more about The Turf Doctors' smellBgone range of infill and liquid products at

*** Win 1 of 4 smellBgone Prize Packs ***
Total Prize Pool is $210 (2 Pet Kits and  2 x 1L Deodoriser Bottles).


1. Like our post (28/09/2020) AND Facebook page and/or Instagram Account
2. Like the smellBgone pages on Facebook at and/or 
on Instagram at
3. "Tell us why you need some urgent help to spruce up your artificial lawn or disinfect / deodorise after your dog/s?" (NB: nominate your prize; either Pet Kit or Deodoriser spray) via the Australian Dog Lover Facebook page or Instagram page


1. This Competition will open on Monday 28th September 2020 (4pm) and will close on Monday 5th September 2020 (midnight). Open to Australian residents only.
Please allow 2-3 weeks to receive your prizes directly from the company.
2. To enter Like both our Page + smellBgone page, like/share our post and "tell us why you need some urgent help to to spruce up your artificial lawn and/or disinfect / deodorise after your dog/s?" via our Facebook or Instagram accounts.
3. This Promotion is a game of skill and chance plays no part in determining the winner.
The entries will be judged by the Australian Dog Lover team. The winning entries will be selected based on the most creative, informative or useful statement.
4. Please note you MUST LIKE our Facebook page or FOLLOW @australiandoglover on Instagram to be eligible.
5. Entrants in the competition can only enter once.
6. Prizes not claimed within 48 hours will be redrawn.
* Entry into the competition is deemed acceptance of all terms and conditions.

Dogs and rabies - why some people are barking up the wrong tree

It’s no wonder that dogs are known as ‘man’s best friend’ - for centuries, they’ve been by our sides. Whether that’s for companionship, home security, or working as a team on the fields, rounding up flocks. 

Their acute senses also mean that they’ve been trained to detect drugs at airports, and work is underway to see if they can even sniff out diseases such as cancer [1] and malaria [2]

With their little wet noses, adorable eyes and fluffy ears, it’s easy to see why they make the world a better place for people, and sometimes, they even save lives.

Dogs are everyday heroes. So why are our canine friends often mistreated?
Barbaric dog fighting, being cooked alive for their meat, and being abandoned when they’re no longer wanted. These are some of the extreme acts of cruelty that these loyal animals endure. One of the big problems facing dogs today, certainly in countries where rabies is present, is the threat of being culled, as a misguided attempt to keep people safe from the disease.

Rabies is a disease that can be transmitted through the bite or scratch of an infected animal, which can be carried by dogs. If left untreated, the consequences can be fatal. But, it is preventable. The teams at World Animal Protection not only work on the ground to vaccinate and neuter dogs, but also educate and work with government bodies across the world to eliminate rabies via educating communities. 

World Animal Protection have vaccinated 1.6 million dogs since 2013 and are championing the United Against Rabies Collaboration’s ‘Zero by 30’ rabies elimination initiative. 

Credit: World Animal Protection / Gembong Nusantara
Ketut has his three healthy dogs Tweety, Maxy and Duel regularly vaccinated

Perception #1: The most effective way to eliminate rabies is to cull dogs

Reality: Millions of dogs around the world suffer horrendous cruelty in a bid to reduce their numbers. They’re dragged through the streets, electrocuted, poisoned or gassed – it’s a horrendous way to die, and not to mention, needless. Culling is often seen as a way to control populations of roaming dogs and minimise the risk of rabies. But this is only a misguided attempt to eliminate the disease.

Studies show that when you cull dogs in one area, a new pack of dogs will move in once the territory is available, and killing dogs undermines vaccination efforts where the turnover of dogs is high. In fact, there is no evidence that culling dogs alone has ever led to a reduction in rabies, whereas when vaccination coverage of around 70% or higher has been achieved – the results have been extremely positive [3]

Culling isn’t the answer – it will not eradicate rabies, vaccinations will

The positive impact one simple vaccination can have on a dog cannot be ignored. Mass vaccination of dogs will not just eliminate rabies – it will eliminate the fear of rabies and change the negative perception people have of dogs.

Perception #2: It’s just as effective to treat people that have been exposed to rabies than vaccinating dogs

Reality: Prevention, is always better than cure. By vaccinating dogs for rabies, the disease is stopped in its tracks, and that’s the safest solution. Rabies can be fatal, and if bitten by a rabid dog, it’ll be a race against the clock to find treatment. This is a problem for those far from medical facilities, who cannot afford the treatment, or those who don’t realise that they’ve contracted the disease.

Over 95% of all human rabies cases are caused by contact with rabid dogs. Dogs can’t vaccinate themselves, but people can make a big difference to both the lives of dogs and people around them, by taking responsibility to stop them from being exposed to the disease. 

Credit: World Animal Protection / Nacho Hernandez
Donna, a cook, and her seven-month-old puppy Zorro wait at the free vaccination clinic in Cainta, Philippines

Protected dogs, protect communities, so I they are vaccinated, you can relax in the knowledge that the vaccination is completely effective, and most importantly, vaccinations save lives. 

Perception #3: The most cost-effective way to reduce rabies is to treat people directly

Reality: The financial differences are staggering. When you look at the global average, it costs around $3USD to vaccinate a dog against rabies, and this could be a dog that could transmit the disease to numerous people. 

But on the other hand, treating a person that’s been bitten by a rabid dog will cost $108USD on average – that’s 26 times as much, and the cost is even higher in Asia - 30 times the price. Also, if just 10% of what is spent on post exposure treatment was spent on mass vaccination schemes, then rabies could be eliminated altogether. 

Credit: World Animal Protection
Tongzi, a rural area, is one of the pilot sites for a rabies vaccination project in China

Caring for your dog and keeping them safe from rabies is a small price to pay, it will benefit both dogs and people.

Perception #4: Governments are doing everything they can to eliminate rabies 

Reality: Rabies needs to be a priority for governments in countries affected. There’s a clear opportunity to make sure that rabies programmes are being taught in schools in these countries. Rabies is a particular issue for children, with up to 60% of the victims being under the age of 15 [4]

There are simple messages that children can learn that could save their lives – washing the wound immediately and telling someone they need to see a doctor right away.

Rural communities could especially benefit from implementing vaccination programmes for dogs, and if we stand a chance of meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 3 then governments must adopt a combined vaccination and education policy.

Perception #5: If you’re bitten by a dog with rabies, the best thing to do is to wash it and see if it will clear up in a few days

Reality: Although washing the wounded area with soap immediately and frequently could make a big difference, this alone won’t stop rabies becoming a serious issue. Once the disease has manifested itself past a certain point and symptoms become apparent, it is 100% fatal.

According to new research done by World Animal Protection, most respondents understood that they should seek immediate medical help, although some thought that cleaning the wound with alcohol, bandaging the wound and catching the dog would suffice. 

The simple fact is, that there are absolutely no medical substitutes when it comes to rabies. If bitten, medical attention must be sought immediately.

Perception #6: It’s easy to identify rabies in dogs – they’ll be foaming at the mouth and roaming, not a pet

Reality: Rabies can affect any dog, even pets. When they contract the disease, they pose a risk immediately, although on the surface, this might not be obvious. Using force or violence to defend yourself against roaming dogs will only aggravate them and make the situation worse, so be calm and kind.

The only way to ensure that the dogs around you are risk-free, is to support vaccination schemes

In addition to this, getting either your pets or dogs around you sterilised and registered or microchipped will also help. Caring for the dogs around you in this way can help prevent the spread of disease, stop unwanted puppies which could lead to more roaming dogs, and make them identifiable as safe. 

For more information, visit or follow on Facebook at

Note: all photography should be credited to World Animal Protection

Lead image: A girl brings her dogs to get rabies vaccinations in Freetown, Sierra Leone



Bell & Bone Launches an Australia-first Dental Stick Range to Promote Health and Prevent Gum Disease in Dogs

Australian owned and made dog food brand Bell & Bone is taking on the pet food multinational corporations with the launch of their innovative new range of Dental Sticks.

Bell & Bone have launched its new Dental Sticks range to the market driven by its mission to address the growing issue of poor dental health in dogs, using healthy, Australian, natural ingredients.

With an ethos for providing purposeful food with a transparent ingredient list, Bell & Bone developed the range of Dental Sticks after learning that 4 out of 5 dogs will have gum disease by the young age of 3.

Developed in consultation with a vet scientist and a pet nutritionist the new range of Dental Sticks contain active ingredients that prevent and reduce tartar build up and freshen breath when consumed daily.

Available in three flavours, the made in Melbourne Dental Sticks contain all-natural healthy superfood ingredients that are scientifically proven to address dog gum and mouth health needs. 

The new flavour ranges include:

✔️ Kangaroo, Mint and Turmeric
✔️ Chicken, Mint and Seaweed and 
✔️ Salmon, Mint and Charcoal 

The ingredients list packs some powerful benefits. Mint is proven to freshen dog’s breath, Turmeric can reduce the risk of gum inflammation and disease, Seaweed has been proven to improve dental hygiene, and Charcoal can alleviate bloating, gas, heartburn and stomach pains which help to reduce bad breath.

Bell & Bone Dental Sticks also contain the safe active ingredients Sodium Tripolyphosphate (STPP) and Zinc Sulphate that bind directly to teeth enamel, interacting with calcium in the dog’s mouth to prevent it being able to form plaque and inhibits the growth of bacteria. This helps to reduce bad breath and prevent teeth stains.

Bell & Bone founder Arianne Sackville said, “as we recommend daily consumption for optimal benefits it was crucial that the range not only helps to clean teeth but is full of healthy ingredients to promote overall health and wellbeing for our dogs.”

Bell & Bone’s truly innovative range is set to disrupt one of the most prominent sub-categories of the dog food market.

“Our Dental Range is truly different. Not only does it address the main issue by preventing and reducing plaque with active ingredients, but it is genuinely healthy too. 

Protein is the first ingredient, there is no added sugar and they’re grain free, meaning no fillers like rice, white potato or corn. This is a combination not currently available on the market and is the only off-the-shelf dental product I feel comfortable giving to my own dog, Louie.”

Bell & Bone is committed to continually disrupting the industry with a genuinely healthy product range and transparent ingredient list. 

Price & Where to Buy:

RRP: $14.95 - $18.95 at

Bell & Bone Dental Sticks are available in 250 stores nationally and online.

About Bell & Bone

Bell & Bone was launched as a result of Arianne’s frustration with the commercial pet food products available on the market. The lack of transparency in the ingredients list and the confusing mixed messages on the packaging led her to the decision to take matters into her own hands. 

Arianne sought not only to enter the industry, but to revolutionise it with purposeful food, clear messaging and a transparent ingredient list in a fairly unregulated market. 

The Bell & Bone product range also includes Superfood Dog Treats, using superfood, all-natural, human grade ingredients such as flaxseed, turmeric, chia, carob, coconut and ginger, and Freeze Dried Raw Treats containing chicken, broccoli, ginger, salmon, carrot, kale, kangaroo, spinach and kelp. 

MEDIA RELEASE, 24th September 2020

COVID-19 has been a blessing for many dogs. It has also been a curse.

When the pandemic began, media outlets reported a rise in dog adoptions as rescue kennels were cleared out. People forced to work from home headed to shelters and breeders, believing it was the ideal time to adopt that longed-for pet friend.

Dogs went to their new homes loving all the one-on-one attention they were receiving and 24-hour access, seven days a week, to their family members.

But then something bad happened (at least in the dog’s mind). Companies began calling their workforce back as they phased out the work-from-home option. Suddenly, dogs discovered they were no longer the centre of their new owner’s world and that they wouldn’t have companionship all the time. 

While many were able to take this in their stride, many COVID-19 pups (some from rescues already on their second or third home) were simply unable to cope with being home alone.

This has had a wide-ranging impact on both the owners and the dogs, some having already been surrendered back to rescues, making the issue of abandonment even more difficult for these dogs, and making them even harder to rehome in the future.

Why, why, why ???

In March 2020, University of Helsinki canine geneticist Hannes Lohi and colleagues published the largest study ever on canine temperaments, which found some breeds were more prone to certain anxious behaviours, including aggression, separation anxiety and fear.

Interestingly, the study found separation-related behaviours were most common in mixed breed dogs which were most likely to destroy, urinate or defecate when left alone. 

Wheaten Terriers were the most likely to vocalise, salivate or pant. The authors also state: 
“It is possible that the high prevalence of separation distress and other anxieties in the mixed breed dogs is caused by a poor early life environment and adverse experiences in life, as many mixed breed dogs in our data are likely rescues”.
They also found that “Separation related behaviour was slightly more common in male dogs” and while younger dogs had a higher prevalence to destroy or urinate when alone, vocalising, salivating and panting, along with other compulsive behaviours occurred independent of age. 

The full study can be accessed here

The Signs of Separation Anxiety: 

Dogs are affected by stress in different ways and not all the signs can be found in all dogs. 

The most obvious signs are excessive barking, whining, crying and howling that often lead to complaints from the neighbours followed by letters from the local council regarding noise infringements. 

Other dogs manifest their panic by frantic attempts to escape, sometimes to the point of self-harm, or destruction such as chewing or destroying floors, walls and doors, particularly around entrances, shredding furniture, and personal belongings. In worst-case scenarios, owners have come home to find laptops and other expensive equipment in pieces.

Others become anxious even before the owner leaves (after all, they know our departure cues so well), while some otherwise housetrained dogs are so petrified, they soil when you step out the door.

Less obvious signs, but still displays of underlying anxiety, might be lip licking, panting, salivating or drooling. Some simply freeze in place, others hide or cower, while trembling, shaking, pacing and digging are also common place.

Owners, who are the experts in their own dogs, should also watch out for tucked tails, wide eyes, ears pinned back and yawning.

The Impact on Households and Family Members:

Anyone who has lived with a dog with separation anxiety understands the stress and impact it has on the household. That’s because it’s significant.
  • Imagine being unable to leave the house without your dog freaking out, barking and destroying your cherished belongings.
  • Imagine the strain it puts on your relationship with your partner who wants to get rid of the dog because they’ve simply had enough. 
  • Imagine seeing the formerly good relationship you had with your neighbours utterly break down because they are sick of listening to your “out of control” dog barking and howling. 
  • Imagine that feeling of dread as you go to check the mailbox each day wondering if there will be a letter from the Council regarding a noise complaint. 
  • Imagine trying to find one excuse after the other not to meet up with friends, who seriously don’t understand why you can’t leave your dog home alone. Or not being able to pop down to the shops without a military operation to find someone to mind your dog. 
  • Imagine spending a small fortune on doggy day care and pet sitters or dog walkers so your dog doesn’t have to be by itself. 
  • And imagine feeling so, so guilty because the times you absolutely have no choice and must leave your dog alone, you know how scared they will be and the state of panic they will succumb to. 

That is how having a dog with separation anxiety can impact your life. 
You can no longer be spontaneous, you always need a plan, your friends don’t understand and your relationships becomes strained.

It’s no fun for you and it’s certainly no fun for your dog! 

Myths Busting:

Before we touch on the many myths surrounding separation anxiety, it’s important to note that not all dogs thought to have separation anxiety actually do have it

In fact, some have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) or Frustration. It’s not that they are terrified of being left alone, they just don’t want to be. They, understandably, want to be with us and when that is not an option, they may act out accordingly. Often this can be more easily solved by introducing an exercise and enrichment regimen to tire them out physically and mentally, among taking other desensitisation steps. 

Myth 1:

Oh, just let them bark it out
This has been common advice handed down for many years with a “they’ll get over it” attitude alongside it. Unfortunately, with true separation anxiety cases this is never the case and will not make one iota of difference.

Myth 2:

Give them a Kong stuffed with food to distract them: 
And yet, what happens when the food runs out? The dog potentially goes into a panic state or, alternatively, they are too stressed to touch the food in the first place, especially given that in a fearful dog the digestive system shuts down.

Myth 3:

Get another dog for company
Sadly, this is also not the case. While it can certainly help in some circumstances, eg the death of another dog, in most cases getting another dog is unlikely to help.

Myth 4:

Throw your dog in a crate
While this may be appropriate for dogs not suffering from separation anxiety (provided they are properly crate trained and have no problem being in one), confinement is far more likely to heighten the anxiety of a dog who does have this disease.

Myth 5:

Your dog is just being naughty
This is definitely not the case! Dogs with true separation anxiety are in a panic. Fear is based on emotion and we all know how incredibly difficult it can be to control our emotions. Imagine how hard it is for your dog.

Solutions & Treatment Protocol for Separation Anxiety:

Firstly, any diagnosis should start with a vet consultation to rule out any other underlying medical conditions, particularly for older dogs who may be showing the first signs of canine dementia.

Treatment of separation anxiety involves gradual desensitisation to the owner leaving the dog alone. It is done in such small increments that the dog does not notice, then steady increases in the time the owner is on the other side of the door.

To treat a dog with Separation Anxiety, it is imperative that absences are managed. This means there must always be someone home with the dog, or that the dog is placed in day care, with a pet sitter or walker, a family member or a friend, during the times there is no choice for the owner to leave the house. 

This ensures that throughout training the dog remains “under the threshold” it can cope with, without reacting. It’s important to keep in mind that every time the dog goes over its threshold and goes into a panic, it only confirms to the dog that it had every reason to be in a fear state in the first place. 

That is why it is advised a camera be employed so the owner can watch the dog for signs of distress while they are on the other side of the door and ensure they return before there is an issue and the panic sets in.

Some extreme cases may require medication while the training is ongoing to enable the dog to think clearly and absorb the exercises, however, this needs to be talked over fully with a vet. Also, keep in mind that every dog is an individual and it can often be a case of trial and error in terms of types of medication and dosage before striking the right one for the dog.

Five Quick Tips:

1. Manage absences while training is ongoing. If you must leave your dog alone try to find a family member, friend or pet sitter to be with them. Alternatively, try a doggy daycare.

2. Buy a camera so you can watch your dog when you are out.

3. Ensure your dog has been exercised before leaving the house.

4. Ensure your dog has had plenty of mental stimulation and enrichment before leaving the house.

5. Be patient and understanding. Your dog is in a state of fear and panic. They can’t help feeling this way and they don’t want to either.

Case study: Victoria Whitbread & Spoodle Teddy

Spoodle Teddy was an anxious pup
Photo by Victoria Whitbread
Victoria was overjoyed to get her Spoodle puppy, Teddy, earlier this year when the COVID-19 pandemic crisis first hit. 

Because of the lockdown she was able to spend a great deal of time with Teddy but whenever she left him in his playpen to shower or went out the front door, she noticed how little he could handle being separated from her. 

Teddy would wail and cry the entire time he was in the playpen, wouldn’t settle at all and would eventually work himself up to a terrible state. 

During this time, she received advice to leave him for an hour and let him cry it out with the expectation he would settle after a while. This was not the case and Victoria believes, in hindsight, that, in fact, it only made things worse. 

By the time she reached out to us, Victoria was at the point where she couldn’t leave the house without taking Teddy with her.

Anxious Spoodle Teddy couldn't be
 left alone - Photo by Victoria Whitbread
She took him everywhere she went or left him with a friend if she couldn’t do so. 

She describes feeling like a prisoner in her own home. She also felt bad having to ask friends and family for their help. 

“It was one of the hardest times of my life, feeling guilty if I had to leave him alone knowing he was going through a lot of stress and anxiety with me being gone but not having a choice if I had to go out for 10 minutes,” she says.

We put in place our training protocols to help Teddy overcome his anxiety and gradually desensitise him to Victoria’s absences in such small increments he hardly noticed. Victoria reports that after a week working with Ruff Diamonds, she noticed a massive improvement with Teddy.

“It was a slow process at the start because his baseline for my absences was so low but after a few weeks it started gaining in time. I felt such a relief being able put the bins out,” she says.

“I am now up to 2.5 hours, which may not sound like much, but I know he is a happy puppy being at home when I do go out now, he doesn’t cry or tear the place apart and just lays on the bed sleeping.

“I can now go to the shops or sit at a 
café for hours knowing he is happy, and I can finally get my life back and work on my business again.” 

Written by Vanessa Jones from Ruff Diamond Dog Services, September 2020 for Australian Dog Lover (all rights reserved).

About the writer

Vanessa Jones with her Malinois, Big Bertha (left) 
and Chase (Photo supplied)
Director Vanessa Jones has a certificate as a SA (Separation Anxiety) Pro Trainer, is a Canine Behaviour Practitioner and has a Diploma in Canine Behaviour from the renowned International School for Canine Psychology & Behaviour (ISCP.Dip.Canine.Prac), a Canine Myofunctional Therapist (dog masseur), Small Animal Nutritionist and Small Animal Naturopath (Dip.NatSA). 

You can contact her on Facebook at or email her.

Separation Anxiety In Dogs Decoded is a specialist division of Ruff Diamonds Dog Services: they help solve your dog's separation anxiety, rebuild your relationships and get your life back!

Training takes place remotely (online), meaning it doesn't matter where you live in Australia or New Zealand, they can still help treat your dog's separation anxiety with tailored one-on-one and step-by-step guidance which is easy to understand and implement. 

Amazon Australia announces winners of its Amazon Pet Profiles competition to find the most look-alike Aussie pet and paw-rent duo... 

Amazon Australia, in partnership with judge Georgia Love, have today announced the winner of their Pet Profiles Competition - Canberra-based pet and paw-rent duo – Rosie the Toy Cavoodle and her human mum Courtney Busby.

The competition was announced in July to celebrate the launch of the Pet Profiles feature on, which makes it even easier for Aussies to take care of their furry friends. The competition set out to find the Australian pet and paw-rent duo that look the most alike, asking entrants to post their best look-alike pet and paw-rent doppelganger pictures using #AmazonPetsAU on Instagram, with the winner to be decided by judge Georgia Love.

As the competition winner, Rosie has been crowned the face of Amazon Pet Profiles, plus she and her owner Courtney are taking home a $1,000 Amazon gift card and having their very own photoshoot to update Rosie’s Pet Profile.

Georgia Love said of her experience judging the competition, “I have had so much fun being a part of the search to find the face of Amazon Pet Profiles and helping pick the second cutest Aussie pet and paw-rent duo - after Pawdrey Hepburn and myself. 

It was so tough going through all the submissions, I had so many laughs and wish I could have picked them all but ultimately I thought Rosie and her paw-rent Courtney looked incredibly cute in matching outfits!”

On taking home the winning prize and having her fur baby crowned the face of Amazon Pet Profiles, Courtney said, “We always get told we look alike and I love matching my accessories with Rosie’s, so it’s cool that Amazon Australia is celebrating our special bond. 

It has been so exciting to be chosen as the winners and I can’t wait to see Rosie’s face on and I will be using the professional snaps to update her Pet Profile. 
Definitely a proud moment for this pet mum!” 

To set up a Pet Profile, customers can simply visit, select their pet type and answer some questions based on breed, age, gender, weight and preferences when it comes to food flavours and types of toys.

Alongside the launch of Pet Profiles, continues to expand the existing Pet Supplies offering with hundreds of thousands of products including accessories, beds, travel products, grooming products, toys, care items and food, from brands like Hill’s Science Diet, Pedigree, Supercoat, Greenies and many more.

The continued growth of Amazon Pet Supplies adds to more than 125 million items already available on with free delivery available for Prime members on domestic Prime-eligible products.

To find out more about Amazon Australia Pet Supplies and to set up a Pet Profile, visit for more information.

MEDIA RELEASE, 24th September 2020

Rabies is a dog-mediated disease which is 99.9% fatal to humans but 100% preventable with vaccination.

Vets Beyond Borders to host Australia’s #WorldRabiesDay event online

For #WorldRabiesDay (on September 28), Australian- based international animal charity Vets Beyond Borders (VBB) is collaborating with global organisations and experts in an exciting online event to raise awareness about the danger of rabies and the importance of vaccinating animals to reduce the incidence of this deadly viral disease.

Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the origins of viral diseases and animal-to-human transmission have become hot topics. Every year almost 60,000 people die from dog- mediated rabies – tragically children are greatly over-represented, comprising 40% of fatalities in Asia and Africa¹.

“Rabies can infect any mammalian species and is almost invariably lethal once symptoms develop, but thankfully it’s 100% preventable in humans and animals through vaccination,” said Dr Ian Douglas, Director and Chair of Vets Beyond Borders

Australia is very fortunate that the rabies virus is not yet present in its animal populations. However, it’s important to bring this deadly disease to public attention, as Australians are the world’s second most frequent travellers² and many have little understanding of the disease.” 

The virus is typically spread through contact with the saliva of infected animals, most commonly as a result of dog-bite injury. Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) has estimated that more than 5.5 billion people live at daily risk of rabies infection. 

VBB World Rabies Day Online Interview Series 

World Rabies Day was established and is coordinated by GARC. 

For the World Rabies Day 2020 Australian event, VBB is hosting an online interview series of international animal welfare and public health experts on the topics of rabies; collaborating and vaccinating to prevent human deaths caused by canine rabies and the challenges faced following the advent of COVID-19. 

VBB’s World Rabies Day production will feature experts from organisations around the world, such as GARCWHOInternational Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), World Animal Protection, and Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer and President of the World Organisation for Animal Health, Dr Mark Schipp. 

For a full list of speakers, please visit VBB’s website where the full-length video of interviews will also be available to watch on September 28

Photo Credit: Sarah McLea 

VBB has been operating for 17 years vaccinating animals against rabies and assisting local governments in dog population management programs.

In India (where 36 per cent of the world’s rabies deaths occur), VBB was integral to the establishment of the Sikkim Anti-Rabies & Animal Health (SARAH) Program, which has achieved near elimination of dog-mediated rabies in that state

“During the 2019/2020 financial year, SARAH staff vaccinated 33,500 dogs against rabies⁵,” said Dr Douglas. “Another important component of VBB’s anti-rabies strategy is to educate local communities about dog-bite prevention and what to do if bitten. 

VBB provides veterinary volunteers to assist in this vital work and delivers training courses to help local vets refine and develop their clinical skills. We rely on donations to be able to continue to vaccinate street dogs against rabies and other infectious diseases.”

Vets Beyond Borders World Rabies Day Logo Design Competition

Vets Beyond Borders also recently ran a World Rabies Day logo design competition and congratulates the winner Tiffany Cheung, a veterinary student at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences.

How can you help prevent the spread of rabies?

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture has released an educational video, ‘Keep a Top Watch’ on rabies in the community, as well as information on the signs of rabies.

The public can help prevent the introduction and spread of rabies by always declaring animals brought into Australia and immediately reporting any suspected case of rabies by phoning the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

Help Vets Beyond Borders

To find out more about what Vets Beyond Borders is doing to help to reduce the incidence of rabies, please visit

You can help VBB in its mission to improve the health and welfare of animals around the world by donating today at

For more information about VBB’s animal health and community awareness programs in Australia and around the world, please visit

⁵ Government of Sikkim Dept of Animal Husbandry, Livestock, Fisheries and Veterinary Services 2019/2020 Annual Report.

MEDIA RELEASE, 21st September 2020

To support RSPCA NSW, Swanky Paws has teamed up with Studio1000 Photography Australia to release a Limited Edition Charity Book called “Swanky Paws.”

The sophisticated look book will feature up to 100 lucky pooches in a beautiful, hardcover coffee table book. 

The portraits will be studio professional quality and feature dogs dressed in fashion and custom outfits provided by Swanky Paws. Everything from Swarovski accessories to show stopping custom outfits will be on display. Participating dogs from Sydney will be featured in this book to be sold worldwide.

What benefits will you receive?

  • One on one Photo Shoot in a professional photography studio
  • Guaranteed Feature in the "Swanky Paws" Book
  • Free Dog Fashion provided
  • 15% off Voucher from Swanky Paws
  • 50% Off Custom Outfit* from Swanky Paws
  • Bonus Additional Studio Time* from Studio1000
  • Bonus $200 wall art credit from Studio1000
  • Potential Coverage including dog magazines, mainstream media and more.
  • Top Photos to be featured on website & social media from Swanky Paws & Studio1000
  • Book Photos credited with your social media handle
  • $75.00 Participation Fee will be donated to RSPCA NSW
@coco_the_peekapoo - Photo Credit: Studio1000 Photography Australia

For more information and to register your interest, please visit

What is you don't live near Sydney but still want to be a part of it?

The best way to help make this project as successful as possible is simply to let people know about it!

Even if you cannot take part with your dog, you can still assist by just sharing this initiative or buying a book once it's released. This will help to support RSPCA NSW as well as the local businesses involved.
@coco_the_peekapoo - Photo Credit: Studio1000 Photography Australia

To celebrate the launch of the "Swanky Paws" Charity Book project, they're also running an Instagram giveaway.
Prizes include a Free Custom outfit, a Swanky Paws Book experience, a $50 Voucher and much more.

If you have any questions regarding the Swanky Paws look book or their products, visit or email