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Dogs on Show 2024 promises to be a pawsome day out!

If you're searching for a fun and engaging dog sport to enjoy with your furry friend or need advice on which breed fits your lifestyle, Dogs on Show is the perfect event for you! Held at the DOGS NSW grounds in Orchard Hills, this free and exciting event has something for every dog lover.

Dogs on Show features a Championship Dog Show and the vibrant Pageant of Breeds, where you can learn about various breeds and their origins. 

Pageant of Breeds 2023 first place winner: Chow Chow Club of NSW

Enjoy thrilling sporting demonstrations, including Agility, Drafting, Dances with Dogs, Junior Handlers, Herding, Trick Dog, Scent Work, Jack Russell Terrier Racing, Earthdog Trials, and Retrieving. 

Find out which sport you and your dog might enjoy!

In addition to showcasing dog products and services, Dogs on Show will host numerous breed clubs and a DOGS NSW Information stand, offering expert advice on all the breeds recognised by Dogs Australia. Come and discover the perfect activities and breed for you and your canine companion!

“This will be a fabulous day out for any dog enthusiast, or simply a fun day out for the entire family. There is something for everyone, so come along and enjoy in the festivities.” - John Bryson, Dogs on Show organiser.

When: Saturday 15th June 2024, from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Where: The Bill Spilstead Complex for Canine Affairs, 44 Luddenham Road, Orchard Hills NSW

This event is brought to you by DOGS NSW and proudly sponsored by Royal Canin. Be a part of all the fun sports and activities at Dogs on Show!

This event has free admission and free parking.

For further information visit the DOGS NSW website 

MEDIA RELEASE, 28th May 2024

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TAFE NSW delivering more pet groomers to industry amid surge in demand

Two Sydney pet groomers are achieving success in the in-demand industry after studying at TAFE NSW, taking advantage of the rise of the ‘fur baby’ that kicked off during the lockdowns.

Animal Medicines Australia estimates the nation’s pet population is about 28.7 million creatures. To cater for the needs of these furry friends, the need for pet groomers has grown, with more than 3,000 jobs forecast to be added to the sector between 2021 and 2026.

TAFE NSW is delivering skilled workers to the industry through its Certificate III in Animal Care Services (Pet Grooming), which is helping students find a job or start their own business.

Heather Lamy and Elise Smith are graduates of the TAFE NSW course who have since established their own thriving pet grooming business together.

“Animals have always been my passion, so I was eager to find a career that would combine my interest with a role that was meaningful,” said Ms Lamy.

“I really enjoyed studying at TAFE NSW, as it gave me the practical skills I needed to successfully groom different types of animals and understand the spectrum of animal behaviour. This helped me to move forward with confidence knowing that I had a strong knowledge base.
Miss Dusty, the Spoodle, before and after shots - Credit: Spots and Brows

“My TAFE NSW course gave me peace of mind that this was the career for me. I learn better in a hands-on environment, so it was the practicals that made the biggest difference to my learning. I also gained business skills, which helped me launch my career and carve the path I wanted to take.”

Pet ownership in Australia has surged in recent years, with 69% of households now owning pets, compared to 61% in 2019, according to surveys by Animal Medicines Australia. The growth has prompted a significant need for more qualified groomers to enter the industry.

“With the increase in demand for pet groomers, TAFE NSW’s Certificate III in Animal Care Service (Pet Grooming) is delivering a pipeline of skilled workers to meet that need,” said TAFE NSW Animal Studies Head Teacher, Erica Steppat.

“The strength of this course is that it provides students with both the practical skills they need to successfully groom animals, and the knowledge to enable and empower them to launch their own business if they wish.

“Heather and Elise are an example of how gaining a qualification through TAFE NSW can be the springboard for your success in this industry.”

Ms Lamy and Ms Smith’s business, Spots and Brows, located in Dural, has gone from strength to strength. In what is a full-circle situation, they are now accept TAFE NSW students for work placements at their business, to help enhance the skills of student groomers.

“I get to work in a role that combines my passion with using my skills,” said Ms Smith.
“I’m incredibly proud of the business we’ve built, and I love that we’re using our skills to make the lives of animals, and their owners, better.
“With the industry in need of more qualified pet groomers, I encourage anyone with an interest in animals to consider studying at TAFE NSW and joining the pet grooming industry.”

For more details on TAFE NSW Pet Grooming and other Animal Care courses, visit

MEDIA RELEASE, 27th May 2024

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Growth expected in the Animal Care Industry

June marks National Foster A Pet Month: a time to celebrate and acknowledge the incredible behind-the-scenes work of Australian foster coordinators and foster volunteers, who dedicate their time to the welfare of both Greyhounds and the volunteers who care for them.

Fostering Greyhounds: “There’s a beautiful community spirit behind it.”

Almost all rescued Greyhounds are cared for by foster volunteers in their own homes while awaiting the right permanent home with an adopter. Foster carers are vital because they give ex-racing dogs the chance to get used to living in a household.

Foster coordinators are volunteers who in turn guide and manage foster care volunteers. They are usually experienced foster carers themselves.

The Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds (CPG) spoke with several volunteer foster coordinators and foster carers from various community-based charities to shed light on the tireless work they do.

“There’s a beautiful community spirit behind it,” says Kit Nikora, who attends monthly meetups as a Foster Coordinator for Gumtree Greys in Melbourne.

After moving to Melbourne, Kit fostered and then adopted her first Greyhound Sid, who she described as her loveable “chaos goblin”. As Sid opened up over the years in Kit’s loving home, he eventually became a helper-dog, or a “snooter-visor” as the Gumtree Greys community call it.

“Sid would end up doing the heavy lifting. He’d be brought on walks with other Greys as they got used to their new environments, and would even teach the other hounds how to use the stairs,” said Kit.

Eileen Schofield is a foster coordinator at Friends of the Hound in just north of Brisbane. 

She told us about the in-and-outs of caring for Greys as a foster coordinator: “I can go from having seven dogs in the morning to two at night,” she said.

Tasks for Eileen on an average week may involve: matching a hound to the right carer, booking the dog in for desexing and vaccination, checking his or her teeth, picking up and dropping hounds off to their foster carers, as well as checking on new volunteers from time to time.

A critical moment in fostering and rehoming Greyhounds is introducing them to new environments. Eileen stays connected online to give advice to fellow volunteers who may be handling distressed dogs.

“Especially with reactive dogs, often they pick up on their environment. If you are stressed, then the dog will be stressed. Perhaps you might assume they’re aggressive, but maybe they’re just unsure,” said Elaine.

“Maybe they’ve never seen another dog before and they’re scared. Another thing I’ve noticed is the more you pull the lead, the more it can cause problems. If you get tense, the first thing is that the lead gets tighter and they get tense. They’re certainly clever animals.”

Supporting everyday volunteers is vital, especially for Sophie Firth from Western Australia, who still makes time in between raising two young kids to foster.

Over the backdrop of lively children during our phone conversation, Sophie talked about how Greyhound Adoptions WA (GAWA) supported her from the get-go in fostering and eventually adopting Cheesel, her first Grey.

“I was given a collar, lead, muzzle, parasite treatment, dog food, and supported via some crucial check-ins by other volunteers to see how everything was going,” said Sophie.

While many community Greyhound rescues provide this level of thorough support, it’s to their credit, as these community-based organisations have to rely on donations and volunteering to stay afloat.

The guidance provided is vital for those who are thinking of volunteering as a greyhound foster carer or coordinator. It can sometimes be challenging, depending on an individual’s experience with dogs needing extra care and training.

Nevertheless, many of those in the Greyhound foster community we spoke to, such as Christine Cooper, President of Homeward Bound Hounds (HBH) in NSW, are here to help every step of the way.

“We involve foster carers in the adoption process. We want our carers, who know their foster Greys best, to feel confident that their dog is going to a home where they can thrive. Many form ongoing friendships with adopters and enjoy occasional reunions,” she said.

After retiring, Christine began rehoming Greyhounds for a rescue group and then fell in love with the breed. This led to her founding HBH back in 2017. True to the homegrown spirit of fostering, Christine began small and it eventually took off.

“ I would take one Greyhound, find a home and then take another. I had some support and I homed 18 Greys in that first year. We coined the Homeward Bound Hounds name and started a Facebook page,” she said.

“In early 2017, I began to recruit foster carers and our numbers grew to 40 rehomings that year. As the group expanded, and with some coordination assistance, we were able to increase our annual rehomings to 60 plus, then more than 100 annually during the COVID years. Today, HBH is a recognised rescue in NSW and registered as a charity.“

At the end of the day, volunteers pour their time and effort into rescuing and fostering Greyhounds because of the immense joy they bring. Witnessing a shy, frightened dog transform into a playful, trusting companion is incredibly rewarding.

Allyson Mutch from Animals-in-Need-Brisbane Inc. said, “It’s the most fabulous and wonderful experience to see a dog open up and trust you, feel safe, and zoom around, and be silly. It’s just bliss."

Allyson first became involved in 2018 with Animals In Need, and then quickly shifted into a foster coordinator role for the Greyhounds coming through. 

She found that bringing along other hounds (or ‘foster siblings’) helps settle foster dogs into their new environments. The group also uses dog trainers who can help with transitions.

One of Allyson’s proudest moments happened when her foster Tully was accepted into the Delta Therapy Dogs Program, which is a leading provider of animal assisted services in Australia.

“I used to take Tully to Ipswich Hospice and she would work with people who were residents and family members. Just watching the ways in which she was just so gentle and responsive to people was amazing. They are the most incredible dogs,” Allyson said.

Across every interview, one thing became abundantly clear - Greyhounds are not just pets, they’re big personalities. Once these dogs open up post-rescue, volunteers affectionately describe these gentle giants as: quirky, couch-potatoes, sock-thieves, kings and queens of zoomies, and more.

Kerin Bolton, a volunteer with GRANT (Greyhound Rehoming Association Northern Territory), often finds her gardening gloves mysteriously missing. Her first instinct is to check foster Greyhound Barney's dog bed. Sure enough, there they are, delicately placed atop the bed, devoid of any chew marks, while Barney looks on from a distance with a cheeky twinkle in his eye.

As someone who loved dogs growing up, but couldn’t commit longterm to owning a one just yet, Kerin began foster caring in 2017.

“I could’ve kept all of those 35 dogs I’d fostered. They’ve all been delightful. They’re funny, quirky, gentle, playful, and are pretty low maintenance. They can be totally whacky, and then be asleep all day,” said Kerin.

The online community of Greyhound foster volunteers celebrate these endearing quirks with a unique camaraderie. Popular Instagram pages are often adorned with a similarly peculiar vocabulary with intriguing nicknames for hounds such as Handsome Hugo and The SS Banksy.

Kit Nikora from Gumtree Greys also recalls how her online community helped grieve the loss of her own Greyhound Sid, who had garnered an online following for a charming ritual known as ‘pickle dips’.

“Anytime there was a body of water, Sid would dip his butt in it. It very quickly became known online as pickle dips,” Kit said.

“When he passed, people were reposting photos of their favourite pickle dips, or sending through photos of their own dog’s pickle dips. It was such a beautiful thing while we were going through our grief to have shared that with people, and to share that part of his personality.”

Kit said one of the best things that Greyhounds bring to the foster experience is their big, weird personalities with which people really connect.

It's not all smiles for the Greyhound community unfortunately. Greyhounds are currently facing a rehoming crisis due to chronic overbreeding, as well as a shortage of homes for them. With a large number of Greyhounds in need of homes, rescue organisations are struggling to keep up with the demand.

The lack of available foster homes means that many Greyhounds are left waiting in kennels without the love and comfort of a home environment. The ongoing crisis underscores the urgent need for more volunteers to step forward and open their hearts and homes to these deserving animals.

Volunteer organisations dedicated to Greyhound rescue and adoption offer various opportunities for individuals to get involved, from fostering and socialisation to fundraising and outreach.

If you believe that you have the means to care for Greyhounds, all of the volunteer organisations mentioned above would love to have you join their community.

written by Mitch Parker, CPG volunteer, May 2024 for Australian Dog Lover (all rights reserved).

About Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds

CPG is a dedicated group of people across Australia who work together to inform the public about the cruelties of Greyhound racing. 
Learn more by following their channels on: FacebookWebsiteInstagrammedia coverage.

Australian pet wellness pioneer, launches go-to range of all-natural pet supplements and meal toppers for happier, healthier pets

Pet Botanica, a proudly Australian owned and manufactured, award-winning brand, is thrilled to introduce its innovative range of pet supplements and meal toppers. Designed to address common allergy and health problems naturally, as well as enhance the overall health and well-being of furry family members.

Founder, Krystal, was frustrated by how hard it is to find truly natural and safe pet products she felt she could trust, and she knew she wasn’t alone…

Compelled by the knowledge that many “natural” alternatives on the market still only meet the bare minimum requirements, and often contain nasties and fillers that have no nutritional value, Krystal bravely launched a go-to range of products that pet parents could trust. 

It was important to Krystal that pet parents could finally purchase products from a business who understood the importance of providing natural and holistic care for pets, dedicated to putting our furry friends first. 

Ultimately though it was Krystal’s own cat Britney and Groodle Harry, who were the inspiration for creating the Pet Botanica collection.

Krystal personally researches and selects each ingredient in the range, and works closely with an animal nutritionist, naturopath, and herbalist to develop pet products committed to using only natural, quality ingredients without any toxic chemicals. 

She is determined to change the approach to animal wellbeing and give pets the very best - and her work is already paying dividends, scoring her a She-Com Award in 2023 for her Dry Shampoo - Ch Powders in Calming aroma or Charcoal edition!

With its commitment to quality and natural ingredients, Pet Botanica offers three exceptional ranges:

✔️ Health & Wellness Supplements
✔️ Natural Grooming and
✔️ Natural Tasty Treats

Within its Wellness category, Pet Botanica offers three powerful products that have quickly become best sellers, each addressing specific health needs and solving the most common health problems pet owners face.

1. Bee Pollen – Nature’s Nutrient Powerhouse

Pet Botanica
’s Bee Pollen supplement is an Australian sourced, nutrient-rich superfood. 

Packed with essential vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, antioxidants, protein, iron, zinc, and essential fatty acids, Bee Pollen serves as a natural multi-vitamin, immunity booster and has natural antihistamine qualities that may reduce environmental allergic responses – essential for pooches that come home itchy after a run at the park.

Key Benefits:

Allergy Support: May act as a natural antihistamine, potentially reducing allergic responses, particularly for environmental allergies.

Immune Boost: Enhances the pet’s immune system, aiding in allergy management and inflammation reduction.

Overall Wellness: Rich in antioxidants, essential amino acids, and nutrients for holistic well-being.

No Additives: 100% naturally harvested Australian Bee Pollen, no preservatives, additives, artificial colours/flavours.

2. Colloidal Silver – A Pet First Aid Essential

Pet Botanica
’s Colloidal Silver is a non-toxic liquid solution applied topically. Renowned for antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. 

An essential addition to any pet first aid kit, it can be used for various applications, including cuts, wounds, skin irritations, hotspots, and more. This one is great for every pet owner to have on-hand to tend to everything from yeast infections, scratches and nicks at the groomers through to eye and ear infections.

Suggested Uses:

Cuts & Wounds; Rashes & Red Skin; Skin Irritations; Hotspots; Paws; Ringworms; Ears; Eye Infections
Suitable for: Dogs and cats of all ages and breeds.

3. Superfood Mussel Booster – Joint and Bone Health Support

Pet Botanica’s Superfood Mussel Booster is an all-natural, nutritious meal enhancer made from whole Green Lipped Mussels sourced from New Zealand. Enriched with natural Chondroitin and Glucosamine, as well as Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, this booster promotes joint and bone health.

Key Features:

Natural Source: 100% natural mussels sourced in New Zealand, air-dried in Australia.

Single Ingredient: No additives – just Green Lipped Mussels!

Palatable: Highly palatable for dogs and cats of all ages and sizes.

Easy to Use: Convenient shaker jar for effortless addition to your pet’s meals.

“My pets mean the world to me, so I am 100% committed to using only the very best quality, premium, natural ingredients, to provide other loving pet owners with safe and effective solutions that nurture, nourish and support the health and happiness of their pets.” says Krystal Glanville, Owner/Founder of Pet Botanica.

Discover the power of nature with Pet Botanica’s exclusive pet wellness range. Helping you support your pet’s wellbeing with our thoughtfully curated, all-natural remedies and health products for dogs and cats. 

For more information, please visit  

You can follow 
Pet Botanica on Facebook at and @petbotanica on Instagram

Calling all dog owners! Learn to have fun with your pup at PPGA's biennial Conference in June 2024

Hear from the best Australian and international pet trainers at this educational 3-day event.

Have you ever wanted to try a dog sport with your pooch but didn’t know where to start?

Australia’s leading dog training organisation, Pet Professional Guild Australia (PPGA), has opened registrations for its pet industry conference - Learn, Grow, Influence - which will be held in Sydney from 14 to 16 June 2024. Here, you can learn how to teach your pup herding, scent work or even try hoopers from some of the best animal trainers in the world!

Credit: Ethan Richardson
PPGA represents pet industry professionals who are committed to science- based, force-free training and pet care and offers
educational resources for pet lovers.

“PPGA prides itself in using force-free methods based on the latest research and science on the ethical treatment of animals,” says PPGA Vice President Barbara Hodel.
“We encourage pet owners to attend this special event to learn from our presenters, grow their skills and influence their community.”

The conference offers a unique learning experience for pet owners through lectures and practical workshops by globally renowned pet training and behaviour experts.

“Attendees will be spoilt for choice with an assortment of workshops designed to provide a 'taster' of new and innovative ideas for owners and their pets,” says Hodel.

The world's leading developer of and advocate for positive herding training Barbara Buchmayer from the USA will come to Australia for the first time to present a workshop and presentations on positive herding!

“My workshops will cater to both the average pet owner and those passionate about positive herding, welcoming all breeds from Poodles to Border Collies,” says Buchmayer. “The beauty of these games is that they teach valuable skills such as self-control, cueing and timing in a fun and relaxed way.”

Arriving from the UK, Dr Robert Hewings, a former police dog handler and internationally recognised trainer in explosive search and narcotics, will share his expertise in canine scent detection plus recent research and training of assistance dogs in scent work.

Some of the Aussie presenters include Bondi Behaviourist’s Ian Shivers and dog behaviour experts Louise Newman and Jari Castle. Castle’s friendly competition, Clicker Games Tournament, will see participants demonstrate their clicker timing and mechanical skills through a series of fun, interactive challenges!

At Shivers’ Practical Ways to Use Enrichment in our Training Plan workshop, pet lovers will learn how to meet their dog’s needs and resolve unwanted behaviours through enrichment.

“You don’t have to be a pet professional to get a lot out of this one,” says Shivers. “The goal is for everyone that attends to walk away with a real insight into how to effectively apply their knowledge of enrichment into their dog’s life. In my workshop, we’ll be diving deep into enrichment, what it is, how to apply it and what the benefits of it really are.”

Newman will team up with animal trainer Shelley Aukett to demonstrate Hoopers: a fun dog sport that is a cross between motion puzzles and low-impact agility.
“You don’t have to have the perfect dog. You just need desire from both of you to build a stronger connection,” says Newman. 
“Hoopers is like doubles tennis. It’s low-impact agility with less equipment but all the skills. To flourish, you need a dog-handler connection. That’s the glue.”

The practical workshops will run on June 14 at St Ives Showground (transport from the city is organised) and the lectures are scheduled for June 15 and 16 at the Rydges World Square in the CBD.

For the full Conference schedule, visit

International Speakers & Workshop Presenters

  • UK’s Dr Robert Hewings is a former police dog handler and trainer in explosive search and narcotics, and will share his expertise in canine scent detection plus recent research and training of assistance dogs in scent work.
  • Barbara Buchmayer from the US will come to Australia for the first time to present a workshop and presentations covering all things positive herding! Whether you’re interested in the sport or looking for fabulous exercises and strategies to incorporate into pet dog life, Buchmayer will share her 30 years of knowledge in herding training methods using positive reinforcement.
  • UK’s Dr Zazie Todd PhD (Psych), creator of the Companion Animal Psychology blog and award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy, will cover counter-conditioning, the role of emotions in animal welfare, how to prevent and resolve common cat behaviour issues; strategies for the human side of fearful/reactive dogs and changing minds on training methods.

The Australian line-up is as impressive with many workshops on offer:

  • At the ‘Un-Chase!® – In Action!’ workshop, Alexis Davison will help clients set up for success, teach key alternate behaviours, build calmness, and change chase triggers to cues.
  • Ian Shivers workshop is all about incorporating enrichment into your training plan.
  • If you want to train a different species, Noeline Cassettari's trick training with a donkey and a miniature horse might be your choice. (Her miniature horse Rose holds a Guinness World Record for ‘the most tricks performed by a horse in one minute!).

The conference is packed with learning and networking opportunities and in addition to the international presenters, the Australians present new and exciting topics!

  • University of Adelaide’s Dr Eduardo Fernandez will introduce the LIFE (Least Inhibitive, Functionally Effective) approach to animal training methods, the new best practice model for teaching and training.
  • In ‘Pet Bereavement – Précis of a Complex Journey’, Debra Milikan will talk about grief, which comes in many forms when losing a pet.
  • Alex Matsoukas will help you drum up more business with her talk on SEO and website analytics, and Jari Castle will explain how to run seminars for reactive dog owners.

Here’s how to register:

Attend this incredible 3-day conference and workshops to become the very best dog owner you can be!

PPGA Members ticket: $700; Non-members ticket: $800

To register:

If you’re unable to make the entire three days, other ticketing options are available.

For more ticketing information and conference registration details, click here.

Thank you to PPGA 2024 Biennial Conference Sponsors!

Thank you to our PREMIER sponsor Antinol! 
Our event sponsors Safe4, Pet Behaviour Vet, Harbour City Dog Gear, Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT), Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia Inc (APDT), and Assistance Animals International. Our main swag bag sponsor Kong and swag bag sponsors Karen Pryor Academy, Chew Proof Dog Beds, Goodog, Pet Perspective, Delta Institute and Ziwi Peak No 1.

About the Pet Professional Guild Australia

The Pet Professional Guild Australia (PPGA) is a membership organisation representing pet industry professionals who are committed to science-based, force-free training and pet care.

We are an official branch of the Pet Professional Guild, a worldwide organisation committed to advocating, educating and encouraging improvements in companion animal welfare through the use of fear-free techniques.

Currently, PPGA has over 350 professional members, many of whom are trainers in the animal industry, mostly with companion animals such as dogs, cats, horses, birds, and pocket pets. Our PPGA members include some of the most well-renowned veterinary behaviourists and trainers, many of whom have worked with rescues and councils in the past and have a wealth of knowledge in behavioural modification.

The PPGA members and affiliates focus on a pet’s physical, mental, environmental, and nutritional well-being, a holistic approach to the care and training of family pets.
To learn more:

MEDIA RELEASE, 24th May 2024

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In the lead up to Pet Appreciation Week (June 2-8, 2024), Pet Behaviourist Lara Shannon shares her tips on celebrating our pets.

In Australia, pets are cherished members of the family, celebrating their milestones has become a heart-warming trend. 

Recent findings by Petstock [1] reveal that two-thirds of pet owners actively commemorate significant occasions like birthdays, with a fifth of Australian pet owners likely to plan something for their pet in the next 12 months. 

Notably, Brisbane, Perth, and Tasmania lead the pack in celebrating Pet Birthdays and Gotcha Days, a celebration of the day the pet was adopted, showcasing the profound bond between pet parents and their furry companions.

Lara Shannon, Pet Behaviourist and Petstock Ambassador, emphasises the importance of integrating pets into special occasions. "Incorporating pets into our celebrations enriches the experience and strengthens the emotional connection we share with them," says Lara. 

"In my experience, pets keenly sense and understand our joy and excitement. Including them in our special occasions or acknowledging their achievements and milestones with treats or doing fun activities together is something, I believe, they enjoy and appreciate."

Birthdays and Gotcha Days: Feting Pet Milestones

Whether your pet revels in social gatherings or prefers quieter affairs, there are numerous ways to celebrate their milestones. For outgoing pets, hosting a birthday bash or Gotcha Day soirée can be a pet's dream. 

"Socially inclined pets thrive on attention. Ensure the party venue is pet-safe and stocked with essentials such as toys and treats," says Shannon. "But be careful not to overwhelm them. Watch out for signs that your pet needs some down time."

For pets inclined towards quieter joys, Shannon says modest activities like an extended stroll or a specially prepared meal can be equally meaningful. "Mark the occasion with activities tailored to your pet's inclinations and temperament," advises Shannon. 

"Establishing traditions like capturing an annual photo or sharing a new toy can create enduring memories.”

Commending Pet Wins

Every milestone in a pet's journey warrants acknowledgement, whether it involves overcoming a fear, mastering a new trick, or adapting to a new routine. Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in celebrating these achievements and encouraging further progress. Shannon underscores the importance of recognising and commemorating these triumphs to foster a strong bond between pets and their owners. 

Here are some effective ways to commend your pet's wins:

✔️ Celebrate Small Victories: Acknowledge even the smallest achievements to encourage progress.

✔️ Use Verbal Praise: Offer cheerful verbal praise to reinforce positive behaviour.

✔️ Reward with Treats: Use healthy pet treats as rewards for accomplishments, and remember some human treats can be toxic to pets. .

✔️ Engage in Playtime: Dedicate special play sessions to reward your pet and strengthen your bond.

✔️ Be Consistent: Establish clear expectations and consistently reward desired behaviours to reinforce good habits.

Bringing Pets Onboard for Personal Celebrations

Pets can play a special role in their owners' celebrations, adding warmth and happiness to any occasion. Whether it's a birthday, anniversary, or any significant achievement, including your furry friend can amplify the joyous atmosphere.

"Pets are not just companions; they're part of the family," emphasises Lara. Consider incorporating them into your festivities with pet-friendly treats, decorations, or even a special bandana or bow tie for the occasion.

Here are some tips from Lara when it comes to involving your pet in personal celebrations:

✔️ Know Your Pet’s Personality: Evaluate your pet’s temperament and choose activities that suit their comfort level.

✔️ Choose the Right Venue: Confirm that the venue allows pets and check their policies regarding animals, especially if food will be served.

✔️ Prepare Your Pet: Include your pet in rehearsals and familiarise them with the venue to minimise anxiety on the big day.

✔️ Inform Your Guests: Give guests advance notice if a pet will be present, considering allergies or phobias.

✔️ Assign a Pet Handler: If it's an event like your wedding, designate someone to care for your pet during the event, ensuring they are fed, hydrated, and comfortable.

As we celebrate our pets, we also celebrate the positive impact they have on our lives. Taking the time to honour these milestones is not just a celebration of our pets but also a recognition of the love and joy they bring into our lives every day. 

For more tips on pet celebrations and all things pet care, visit the Petstock website or chat with a friendly team member at your nearest store.

[1] Petstock research 2023

MEDIA RELEASE, 23rd May 2024

Oscar & Friends launches a new pet accessories collection at Big W

Drawing from a four-decade legacy within the fashion industry, Oscar & Friends, the fun and functional pet accessories brand, is excited to announce the launch of its new Value collection into Big W this May 2024.

Designer of Oscar & Friends, Julia Hemingway explains, "We are thrilled Big W has taken this Value collection nationwide, instore and online, including high quality and extremely affordable Grooming brushes, plus the cutest matching sets of Collars, Leads, Harnesses & Waste bags dispensers, which come in a Pink, Khaki and Beige.

“The best part about this Value collection is everything matches back and the prices are so accessible, you don’t need to think twice about buying a few items or the whole set. Let's be honest, matching matters for our furry friends.”

The new pet care value range is available in three sizes and three different colourways, catering to dogs from the smallest Dachshunds to the largest Golden Retrievers. This stylish range features matching sets of collars, leads, harnesses, and dog waste dispensers, available in The Khaki Set, The Beige Set and The Pink Set.

Oscar & Friends also offers a variety of high-quality grooming products, including a 2-in-1 groomer brush, de-shedder brush, self-cleaning everyday brush, slicker brush, nail clippers, and grooming gloves.

"We take our quality very seriously, with every product undergoing thorough testing for durability and functionality to ensure our four-legged friends receive the best and most comfortable products. The namesake, Oscar, a cherished puppy within the organisation, served as the inspiration behind the brand name. 

We now offer a wide range of products for your dogs and cats, including tethering, toys, grooming and home, with plans to expand into a comprehensive range of pet categories for all species big and small,” says Designer Julia Hemingway.

Oscar & Friends was born from a notable gap in the market for affordable yet fun pet accessories. The brand emerged as a natural evolution for the Accessory Company Group, with a dedicated Pet team focusing its expertise now on our four-legged friends, keeping up with the latest seasonal trends and unwavering attention to detail, especially in functionality and finishes.

Designed in Melbourne, the range is available to shop at the Australian department store Big W online and in stores throughout Australia.

MEDIA RELEASE, 23rd May 2024

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