Latest News









Latest News

Clear communication for unprecedented training results!

Many of you have heard of clicker training. You may have even purchased one, but you don't know how to use it effectively or at all. 

In this article by Jari Castle (a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner) you will learn:

✔️ How to use the clicker

✔️ Why it is the go-to method for training animals of any species and

✔️ The common mistakes people make that undermines their success

The clicker is used to train new behaviour, so there needs to be a shift in thinking about what is motivating your dog’s behaviour

If we think that our dogs are behaving badly on purpose, we are predisposed to think they need to be corrected. Conversely, if we think our dogs are struggling in a situation and don’t have the experience or appropriate skills to behave how we want, we are more inclined to help and support them. 

For example, if a dog jumps all over you when you get home, even though you’d told them off every day for six months, it is easy to think that they know they should not be jumping. 

But, did you ever teach them explicitly how they *should* greet you? Or was it assumed that they would intrinsically know? 

Your dog wants to be in your good books and finds it at least a little stressful each time you scold them. 

Here’s a secret though: you can’t teach a dog not to do something. 

The dog is always doing a behaviour, and we decide if that behaviour is acceptable or not. If the behaviour is not okay, think “what do I want the dog to do instead?” And then train them to do that. Enter: Clicker training!

How clicker training works

A clicker is a small device that makes a unique mechanical click sound when the button is pressed. The device is not the crucial tool though. 

The science and magic of clicker training is the sound, and what it means to the dog. The click sound “marks” the behaviour you want to reinforce, so clicker training is also known as marker training.

Let’s get technical for a second: if a dog does a behaviour and gets something they want, the behaviour has been reinforced. This means that the behaviour is more likely to occur again as it benefited the dog last time. 

Reinforcers (things the dog wants) can be categorised into primary and secondary reinforcers. 

  • Primary reinforcers are biologically what the dog innately likes: food, water, shelter and safety are classic examples of this. We do not need to teach the dog to like these things. Specific breeds will have other primary reinforcers - chasing is innately enjoyable for a Whippet and herding is how a Kelpie would choose to spend their day. 
  • Secondary reinforcers are things the dog likes, but because we have introduced them to the dog in a way that is enjoyable for them. 

Getting the leash out means nothing to a puppy, but through repetition your pup learns that the leash means it is time to explore outside, and so we see the excited response when the leash come out. 

Exploring outside is the primary reinforcer, and the leash has been associated with that so is a secondary reinforcer.

In clicker training the click sound is always followed by a small piece of delicious food. 

Initially the sound means nothing to the dog, but through repetition the dog learns that when they hear the click, a piece of food is coming. 

The brain releases dopamine, among other hormones, when dogs eat. If the clicker is consistently followed by food, the dog will get this dopamine release when they hear the click, thereby reinforcing whatever behaviour “caused” the click. 

Behaviour that gets reinforced gets repeated!

Pros & Cons of Using a Clicker and Alternative Markers

The clicker is an ideal tool because the sound it makes is unique, always sounds the same and can be used by multiple people. Some dogs can be scared of the sound though, in which case a quieter clicker may be needed, or holding the clicker in your pocket to muffle the sound. 

You can decide to not use the clicker at all and instead use a verbal marker, which is handy for those times you do not have your clicker with you. 

The word “Yes” is the best option. 

Other words and praise such as “good/good dog” are said too frequently and not consistently paired with the food reward. “Yes” is a word that will be said deliberately and used conscientiously. Most trainers will teach a dog to respond to a clicker and a verbal marker so that both options are available.

Getting started

To get started clicker training, all you need is the clicker, your dog, and a handful of small treats (about the size of your little fingernail is ideal). When your dog is looking at you, click and then give them one treat. 

You can feed it to their mouth or drop it on the floor for them to quickly find. As soon as the treat is eaten, repeat with four more treats in quick succession.

Next, ask your dog to sit. As soon as their butt touches the ground, click and treat. You can toss the treat so they get up, ready to sit again on cue. After doing sit three times, move to another behaviour they know well such as lay down or shake.

Pro-tip: keep the treats in a treat bag or on the bench near you rather than in your hand. This will reduce the time your dog spends obsessing over the treats and your hands. 

It is very important to click and then reach for the treat.

What can you teach with a clicker?

Clicker training can be used to train your dog any new skill. 

Jari-Ann Castle with her Whippet
Credit: Pawesome Photography

This can range from tricks to safety skills, cooperative care for smoother vet and grooming visits, or addressing behaviour issues such as reactivity and aggression

Remember how we need to fundamentally change how we think about behaviour problems? The key to training your dog is to stop thinking about stopping their bad behaviour and start considering what behaviour would be the best alternative. 

We can then train that new skill!

 There are two ways to do this: capturing and shaping. 

✔️ Capturing is when we mark the dog for doing the behaviour we want, even if it is only for a second. 

✔️ Shaping is when we mark the dog for doing something that can be built upon to the better behaviour we want. 

For example, if we are teaching a dog to go to their bed, we could capture the behaviour by clicking when the dog walking onto their bed of their own accord. We could shape the behaviour by clicking when the dog took a step towards the bed, then another, until the dog is on the bed. 

Shaping also works well when dogs are highly aroused, for example when visitors arrive. Maybe they are too excited to sit when you tell them to, but you can click when they have four paws on the ground, and then cue the sit when they are able to stand calmly.

For a dog who is aggressive to other dogs on walks, the perfect time to click is when your dog perceives the other dog, as in that moment they are standing still and looking - a perfectly acceptable behaviour that you can reinforce so the behaviour is more likely to happen again. This is another example of capturing. 

The other great benefit of clicker training is that the dog is forming positive associations with the sights and sounds in the area at the same time as well as learning better behaviour.

Improving your skills

Any training strategy is only effective and efficient if it is done well. Clicker training is a new skill for you as well, so practice before you subject your dog to it! 

To practice your clicker mechanics, put on a soccer video and click whenever a player kicks the ball. There are specific videos for practicing your clicker mechanics as well, such as this one

It’s also fun to connect with other owners and trainers who also want to improve their skills as you can practice with each other. 

Games such as flipping cards and clicking for your designated suit or colour, or clicking for odd and even dice rolls are quick and simple games to improve your observation skills and quick clicker timing.

For the clicker nerds out there, you can also attend workshops such as the Clicker Games Tournament being held at the Pet Professional Guild Australia Conference (14-16 June 2024)

You will compete and have fun with other clicker trainers to win prizes and hone your clicker skills. It’s a great chance to practice in a fun environment and meet other animal trainers. I hope to see you there!

Written by Jari Castle, Jari Castle Dog Training, March 2024 for Australian Dog Lover (all rights reserved).

Additional Resources

Classical (Pavlovian) Conditioning - Credit Lili Chin 

What is Click Training? Credit Karen Pryor Academy

About our writer

Jari Castle is a Certified Training Partner with the Karen Pryor Academy and has a special interest in helping aggressive and reactive dogs using fear-free strategies such as clicker training. She lives in Melbourne with her young sons, husband and Whippet. 

When not helping her own clients, Jari works at RSPCA Victoria training staff, volunteers and the public about animal behaviour handling and training. 

She will be running the Clicker Games Tournament at the PPGA 2024 Conference as well as presenting on RSPCA’s popular Reactive to Responsive seminars.

For more information, visit    

You can follow @jaricastledogtraining on Instagram or on Facebook:

Related Stories:

Managing Stress in Reactive Dogs Positively

The Benefits of Trick Training Any Pet

The Covid dogs: lonely and socially inept!

Paws what you’re doing: Seeing Eye Dogs hosts puppy meet and greet event for International Guide Dogs Day

This International Guide Dogs Day, Wednesday 24th April, Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs will host a meet and greet event in collaboration with Metro Trains at Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station to spread joy and puppy cuddles to commuters.

Each year, Seeing Eye Dogs breeds more than 200 puppies that enter the Seeing Eye Dogs program, providing life-changing support to Australians who are blind or have low vision.

According to Seeing Eye Dogs’ manager of puppy development Jane Bradley, Seeing Eye Dogs is looking to place over 20 puppies in loving homes by the end of next month.

“We are on the hunt for compassionate Aussies who can care for the puppies for up to 12 months. Puppy carers play an integral role in the journey of a Seeing Eye Dog, providing important socialisation skills and basic training,” said Jane.

“The earlier we can place a puppy with a carer, the earlier they can start learning the skills and behaviours they need to be a Seeing Eye Dog, helping people who are blind or have low vision to lead an active and independent life.

“Not only do our carers get to welcome an adorable puppy into their home, but they also get to feel good knowing they’ve helped to potentially change the life of someone who is blind or has low vision.”

Commuters and passersby will have the chance to chat with Seeing Eye Dogs puppy development trainers and other puppy carers about what is involved in becoming a puppy carer and how to apply.

“We are delighted to celebrate the invaluable service that our Seeing Eye Dogs provide, this International Guide Dogs Day, with the help of our fellow Aussies.”

What: Seeing Eye Dogs - Puppy Meet & Greet Event

When: Wednesday 24th April, 10:30 am to 12:30pm

Where: Flinders Street Train Station (outside platforms 6 and 7).

Meet and greet adorable Seeing Eye Dogs pups like Pharaoh & Poppet

About Seeing Eye Dogs

Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs is the only national provider, trainer, and breeder of Seeing Eye Dogs in Australia.

Our Seeing Eye Dogs support people across the country who are blind or have low vision to live safe, active and independent lives.

Visit our website at

Related Stories:

Big Paws Little Paws is proudly announcing the debut of Melbourne's first-ever Mama Paws: A Mother's Day Soirée for Dog Mums event, transforming Mother’s Day into Dog Mum's Day!

We know that nowadays, more women are showering their fur babies with love as if they were human children. To celebrate this extraordinary bond, Mama Paws is on a mission to honour the unconditional love and dedication of dog mums everywhere!

Say goodbye to unnoticed dog mums because Mama Paws is here to change that narrative! 

Set in the ultimate indoor doggie playground, this event guarantees an unforgettable experience for both dog mums and dog lovers alike!

Prepare to wag your tails and unleash the fun with Mama Paws

Our line-up of exciting activities and delights includes 'pawtinis' on arrival, pooch glam station and professional pawtraits.

But wait, there’s more! Dogs, children, families, and friends are all invited to join in on the festivities. 

Indulge in our Woof Wonderland Market, get creative at our pooch craft station, and participate in our fabulous giveaways.

Included in your ticket purchase are a $10 voucher for Big Paws Little Paws services as well as a $2 donation to Second Chance Animal Rescue.

This event is for all you crazy dog lovers out there - the ultimate Mother’s Day event you've been dreaming of. 

Don't let this historic celebration pass you by. Get ready to celebrate the most positively pawfect Mother's Day!

What: Big Paws Little Paws - Mama Paws Event

When: Saturday 11th May 2024, from 10:00am - 1:00pm, with two sessions: 10am - 11:30am & 11:30am - 1pm.

Where: 5/29-39 Westwood Dr, Ravenhall, 3023, Victoria

Tickets: $20.00 (Adult). Dogs (multiple pets permitted) will attend FREE with adult ticket. Don't forget their lead! Kids under 16 free & no ticket required.

For more information and for ticket bookings, visit Eventbrite or the Facebook event page.

You can follow @bigpawslittlepaws on Instagram.

About Big Paws Little Paws

Welcome to Big Paws Little Paws, your indoor, pooch paradise awaits. Our upscale grooming and day care services are second to none, led by award-winning pet stylists who specialise in breed trims, ensuring your furry friend leaves looking and feeling their absolute best.

But we're not just about beauty – our unique daily enrichment program transforms our day care into a haven for pets to receive personalised care, mental stimulation, and socialisation.

At Big Paws Little Paws, we're more than just a grooming and daycare service – we're a home away from home, dedicated to providing your furry companions with the love, attention, and pampering they deserve.

Big Paws Little Paws is open Mon - Fri | 7am - 6:30pm.

Sometimes, when we're very lucky, we end up doing the job that we dreamt about doing as a child. 

This is true for Sunset Vets Veterinarian, Dr Angela, who always knew who she was meant to be, and in an incredible show of perseverance and dedication, made her lifelong dream of being a Vet a reality.
“I wanted to be a Vet since I was five years old,” said Dr Angela.
“But I had a lot of fun at high school and maybe didn’t apply myself as well as I should have. So, when I graduated school, wanting to be in healthcare, I became a nurse.

“Although I loved nursing and had an incredible, long career which ranged from critical care, spinal injuries, emergency and management; the whole time I kept thinking, ‘one day I want to be a Vet’. It got to a point where I thought ‘I need to do this, or I’ll wake up and be 70’ and that very week I enrolled to start the process of becoming a Vet.”

Proving just how driven Dr Angela was to her goal, she completed her Veterinary qualification whilst continuing to work part-time as a Registered Nurse.

“I loved being a Vet and I started my career in general practice,” said Dr Angela.

“I wanted to improve my patient’s quality of life, and I quickly learned that small changes can make a big difference to the well-being of an animal. I wanted to provide comfort care and relief for an owner, so consultations were something I really enjoyed.

“It was during this time that I found and joined the Sunset Vets team.”

Incredibly, Dr Angela was completing her PhD in Infection Prevention and Control in Small Animals when she joined Sunset Vets.

“Having worked in general practice I found myself wanting to spend extra time with clients during palliative and end-of-life appointments,” Dr Angela explained.

“There’s so much health information to provide, and owners often have a lot of questions. I loved the idea of being able to take the time to address everyone’s concerns and needs.

“Assessing patients in a home environment that they’re comfortable in also really appealed to me. I felt like I was able to make a real difference to animals and their families and develop a clear action plan.

“I believe that it's a privilege to be trusted to do what we do. Supporting our patients in a peaceful and calm environment is very rewarding.”

However, goodbyes are never easy, and despite the incredible skills and experience Veterinarians have; it's not uncommon for Vets (some of the greatest animal lovers around), to struggle with the idea of euthanising their own pets. Dr Angela was no different in this circumstance.

“When it comes to saying goodbye to a pet, the needs of every family are very different", Dr Angela said.

“I take a holistic approach in my appointments and part of that is looking at the big picture, finding out what's important, and honouring the individual needs of the client whether it be spiritual, emotional, or other.

"Ensuring owner needs are met is crucial to my care model as it’s something that’s also very important to me as a pet owner.

“Over the years we’ve said goodbye to lots of our own pets and the time to say goodbye to our beautiful cat Tom came at the end of last year.

"I previously have had to euthanase one of my pets in an emergency and that was just devastating. I firmly knew I never wanted to do that again.

“Saying goodbye to Tom was the best thing we could do for him and with the help of one of my wonderful Sunset Vets colleagues, we were able to do this peacefully at home.

“Tom was able to spend his final afternoon lying in the sun, and my son was able to arrange for his girlfriend to come over and support him. Despite the grief I felt around saying goodbye, it was a relief knowing we could be at home and take our time saying our goodbyes.
“It was peaceful. And that was important to me.”
This first-hand experience, along with Dr Angela’s extensive experience makes her such an empathetic and compassionate professional. A perfect fit for a Veterinarian working exclusively with terminally ill or senior pets. But when it comes to senior pets, Dr Angela wants owners to know one very important thing.
Animals hide their pain.
“I have lost count of the number of people who have said ‘they don’t believe their animal is in pain’ and this is because their animal isn’t crying or vocalising,” says Dr Angela.

“It’s my wish that owners have a greater understanding of how animals can hide their pain, or how they can display pain in ways you don’t expect. For example, stiffness and limping will almost always indicate pain even if your pet is still getting around quite well.

"Owners are often astounded by the transformation of their pet after pain has been identified and pain relief provided for their pet. Quality of life can be improved drastically by managing pain.

“And that’s why palliative care is so important. Pets are beloved members of the family, and they deserve the best care, no matter what stage of their life they’re in.”

For more information on Sunset Vets, visit

Related Stories:

Superior Pet Goods unveils innovative Hugzzz™ Ortho Curl Up Cloud Bed, revolutionising pet comfort

Superior Pet Goods, a leading name in Australian pet comfort solutions, is thrilled to announce the launch of their latest innovation: the Hugzzz™ Ortho Curl Up Cloud Bed
Designed to provide unparalleled comfort and relaxation for furry companions, this ground-breaking pet bed is set to revolutionise the way pets sleep and lounge.

What sets the Hugzzz™ Curl Up Cloud Bed apart is its unique combination of features. It is the first pet bed of its kind to incorporate 100% memory foam in the round calming donut style, providing pets with optimal support and comfort as they curl up for a nap or settle in for the night. 

The Hugzzz™ Comfy Memory Foam Flakes used in this bed offer a multitude of benefits, including shock-absorbing, body contouring, and pressure point relieving properties with the promise of a bed that will keep its shape and will never go flat or saggy.
"With Hugzzz™ memory foam flakes, your pet's joints and muscles will experience reduced impact and pressure while sleeping," said Elaine Salt, Marketing Manager at Superior Pet Goods. 
"Motion isolation properties help to absorb movement to ensure a more restful sleep, especially beneficial for dogs with joint pain."

Furthermore, Hugzzz™ body contouring properties 'hug' your dog's shape for optimal comfort and soothing relief of pain caused by pressure points in areas like hips and knees.

Additionally, the Hugzzz™ Ortho Curl Up Cloud Bed boasts human-grade, hypoallergenic, and non-toxic materials. "Your pet's health and wellbeing are our top priorities," continued Mrs Salt. 

"Hugzzz™ memory foam flakes are crafted with the same high-quality hypoallergenic and non-toxic materials used in human-grade products for the health sector. You can trust that your pet is sleeping on a bedding option that meets the highest standards of safety, quality, and comfort."

Moreover, unlike single-piece memory foam, Hugzzz™ memory foam flakes feature excellent temperature- regulating properties. "They have better airflow while absorbing and dissipating heat, helping to keep your pet comfortable in warmer weather and cosy during colder seasons," explained Ms Salt.

In addition to its innovative design and benefits, the Hugzzz™ Ortho Curl Up Cloud Bed is proudly Australian made, reflecting Superior Pet Goods' commitment to quality craftsmanship and supporting local manufacturing. 
This locally sourced production also ensures that the bed meets high-quality standards, unlike imported mass- produced rectangular memory foam beds flooding the market.

Ms Salt went onto say “Each Hugzzz™ Ortho Curl Up Cloud Bed is filled, assembled, hand rolled and hand packed by a Superior team member right here in Melbourne ensuring quality control at every point in its production.”

Furthermore, the Hugzzz™ Ortho Curl Up Cloud Bed is available at an accessible price point, making luxury pet comfort affordable for pet owners. 

The Medium Bed, measuring 70cm in diameter, will retail for $119.00, while the Large Bed, measuring 90cm in diameter, will be priced at $199.00.

"We look forward to releasing more sizes and bed styles with Hugzzz™ memory foam flakes, continuing to provide pets with the ultimate in comfort and relaxation," concluded Ms Salt.

To celebrate the launch, the Hugzzz™ Ortho Curl Up Cloud Bed in Alpine Faux Fur will be exclusively available at select Petstock stores and Petstock online starting this month. 

Pet owners can experience the superior comfort and quality of the Hugzzz™ Ortho Curl Up Cloud Bed first-hand at these trusted retailers.

For more information about the Hugzzz™ Ortho Curl Up Cloud Bed and other innovative pet products from Superior Pet Goods, visit

About Superior Pet Goods:

Superior Pet Goods is a leading provider of high-quality pet products, dedicated to improving the lives of pets and their owners. With a commitment to innovation, craftsmanship, and pet comfort, Superior Pet Goods offers a wide range of premium pet accessories designed to meet the needs of modern pet lifestyles.

Australia’s First National Pet Show is coming to Adelaide!

Marking the fifth show since the inaugural Sydney launch in 2022, Australia’s First National Pet Show will arrive in Adelaide on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May 2024 at the Adelaide Showgrounds.

Announcing a line up of over 120 experts and exhibitors, the event will follow the successful multi-zone format that has received an overwhelmingly positive response from attendees nationwide. Bringing together the best of the pet industry, it is the perfect event for proud pet parents as well as those looking for a new pet that may not be sure where to start.

Managing Director, Cameron Just, says, “Following the success of our shows across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane we’re excited to be adding a new event to our roster that will allow us to help Adelaide residents immerse themselves in all things pets. With a rate of dog ownership that is higher than the national average [1], it was clear to us that Adelaide was the perfect addition to our show line-up.

“There is no other pet event like this in Adelaide so we’re excited to see the response from the community. We’re committed to championing positive pet parenting for both traditional and non-traditional pets and are grateful for the support we’ve had to date which has made expanding our show possible.”

The new show will feature a range of experts including author, pet expert and director of Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Ben Dessen, Dr Katrina Warren and Kelly Gill along with the Wonderdogs and Debra Millikan from the Pet Professional Guild of Australia

There will also be a large range of exhibitors including Refuresh, Edenhills Pet Cremation, RSPCA South Australia, Canine Connect, DOG by Dr Lisa, The Pet Butcher and more as well as entertainment and activities from face painting and a kids agility course to scent work demonstrations and meet and greets with the famous Bluey and Bingo.

Tickets are currently available online from with part proceeds from every sale donated to the RSPCA South Australia.

Following the Adelaide show, The Pet Show will hold an additional two shows this year, travelling to:
  • Brisbane | 22nd - 23rd June 2024
  • Sydney | 16th - 17th November 2024

About The Pet Show

The Pet Show is Australia’s first national pet show. A multi-zone consumer show, it enables potential pet owners, existing pet owners and animal lovers of all kinds to immerse themselves in all things pets. The Pet Show’s vision is to create the perfect pet parent experience incorporating education, entertainment, and products for dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles and small animals.

[1] Dog and Cat Management Plan 2019-2024

Adoption fee discount to ease pressure on animal shelters

The City of Sydney is reducing the adoption fees for pets being housed in its animal shelter, in a bid to reduce pressure on the animal care facility.

From 15 to 26 April, adoption fees will be cut from $399 to $199.50 for dogs and from $263 to $131.50 for cats.

Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore AO said she hoped the reduced fees would help some of the city’s four legged residents find a new home.

“We know that shelters and rehoming organisations are currently in crisis across Sydney. The cost of living, housing affordability and rental restrictions means the number of animals being surrendered has increased dramatically,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We know how important pets are to people’s lives and wellbeing. We’re hoping that by reducing these fees, we can both reduce the cost of pet ownership and help to ease pressure on our shelter.”

Since 2009 lost and abandoned pets in the City of Sydney area have been looked after at the Sutherland Animal Shelter, in partnership with Sutherland Shire Council.

Holly - Photo: Sutherland Animal Shelter
“We’re very proud our animals are looked after at Sutherland Animal Shelter,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The facility provides a high level of care for animals and aims to rehome or rehabilitate each of its residents, with one of the lowest euthanasia rates in the country.

“However, it is also at capacity. The number of City of Sydney pets being kept in our shelter has almost doubled in the last two years, up from 44 dogs and 37 cats in 2021 to 84 dogs and 63 cats in 2023.

“For decades we have fought to improve the welfare of companion animals. Our new reduced adoption costs are part of a suite of initiatives the City of Sydney is running to support residents who own pets.”

The City of Sydney runs several programs to help support pet owners. These include annual pet days where social housing residents can access free pet health checks, vaccinations, microchipping, flea and worming treatments, as well as subsidised desexing.

We also encourage people to register their pets online and offer subsidised desexing and free microchipping for pensioners and eligible people on low incomes.

The discount adoption scheme is part of a broader program run by the Sutherland Animal Shelter

The animal shelter is having an open day on Tuesday 16th April 2024, from 10am-2pm.

Address: Sutherland Shire Animal Shelter, 8 Production Road, Taren Point, NSW 2229

Phone: 02 9710 0401

To find out more contact shelter staff at

SCHMACKOS™ introduces new 'Sausage Sizzle STIX' at Bunnings, allowing pet parents to treat their pets to an authentic Aussie tradition.

SCHMACKOS™, the beloved brand renowned for its irresistible pet treats, proudly unveils its newest creation ‘SCHMACKOS™ Sausage Sizzle STIX’, inspired by the iconic Aussie tradition of a sausage sizzle.

SCHMACKOS™ Sausage Sizzle STIX will be part of Mars Petcare’s existing pet range at Bunnings which includes PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS® and OPTIMUM®.

Australian-made by Mars Petcare Australia in Bathurst, SCHMACKOS™ Sausage Sizzle STIX offer dogs a savoury delight made with real meat and free from artificial flavours.

This innovative treat promises a delicious taste experience and allows every member of the family, including our furry friends, to delight in the shared experience of a sausage sizzle.

Anthony Dean, Marketing Director at Mars Petcare Australia says, “As one third of all dog feeding occasions are treat related, we clearly love to treat our dogs and we naturally want the best for them. At Mars Petcare, we are proud to offer a range of treats crafted with real Australian ingredients.”

“We know there is increasing popularity in the dog care and treat category and it's important for us to create new offerings where enjoyment can be shared with our furry companions.”

Price & Where to Buy:

SCHMACKOS™ Sausage Sizzle treats are now available at Bunnings stores nationwide (excluding WA***) and online for $22 per 1kg bag.

About Mars Petcare

Mars is a global leader in pet care and in Australia we proudly manufacture a range of products in Bathurst and Wodonga, including PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, DINE®, OPTIMUM™ and SCHMACKOS™, with a proud team of more than 600 Associates in Australia helping pets, their owners and pet professionals.

Source: Mars Pet Nutrition Usage & Attitudes diary study Australia, 2021, n=1926 Source: Circana, Grocery Scan Sales Australia, 2018-2023, 5 Year CAGR.

*** Due to trading restrictions in WA, SCHMACKOS™ Sausage Sizzle treats will only be available in Bunnings Armadale and Bunbury stores.

MEDIA RELEASE, 15th April 2024

Over 950 pets found their forever home in March 2024 during National Pet Adoption Month

The Petstock Foundation celebrates the 961 pets who found their forever home across the country during National Pet Adoption Month (NPAM), an increase on last year’s adoption results. 

NPAM is an initiative that helps find loving homes for rescue pets in need of adoption or fostering: whether it’s a dog, cat, guinea pig, or even a bird.
“We want to thank the incredible pet parents who opened their hearts and their homes to rescue animals this month.” says Jessica CurtisPetstock Foundation Strategic Manager.
Each year, we’re inspired by the generosity of Australians who take action during National Pet Adoption Month, and find a pet in need to love. Pets provide us with companionship, emotional support and are seen as family, and we believe pets and people truly are better together. 

Even if you weren’t able to adopt or foster during March, we still encourage those looking for a pet to reach out to their local Petstock store or rescue group for more information, or donate to the Petstock Foundation to support rescue groups across Australia.”

This year, out of the 961 pets that were adopted, 823 of those were cats followed by 19 dogs, 42 rabbits, 39 guinea pigs and 5 birds. Victoria and Tasmania saw the highest number of adoptions with 241 pets finding their forever home followed by 146 in Queensland, 148 in South Australia, 138 in Western Australia and 109 in New South Wales & ACT.

The decision to adopt can come from the most unlikely sources and Liam House knows this best. Already owning one cat and sparked during Petstock’s 2022 National Pet Adoption Month, Liam and his partner contemplated adding to their family and upon browsing rescue websites, they stumbled upon Zym and Rayla, a bonded pair facing adoption challenges. 

Despite their peculiar haircuts, the emotional connection with this pair was undeniable, "Zym and Rayla became an integral part of our family from the moment we brought them home. Their affectionate behaviour during our first meeting assured us that they were the ones."

Zym and Rayla seamlessly integrated into Liam's daily routines, bringing joy and a reassuring presence. Liam emphasised, "The transformative impact they've had on my life within those initial minutes, despite their unconventional appearance which they have grown out of, solidifies the decision to adopt as invaluable and rewarding, creating a home filled with warmth and companionship." 

Adopting Zym and Rayla wasn't just a choice: it was an enriching journey that transformed a house into a home, filled with the love and laughter that only rescued pets can bring.

Over the past 10 years, the Petstock Foundation's National Pet Adoption Month has helped find loving homes for close to 41,000 rescue pets across Australia and New Zealand, but there are still more animals in need of homes. 

There are currently over 9,300 pets at shelters, rescue groups, pounds and vets across Australia awaiting adoption [1], and with the rising costs of everyday expenses, sadly it is predicted that this number will continue to rise.

Visit to find out more.

[1], accessed 7 December 2023

About the Petstock Foundation

The Petstock Foundation is a registered charity that exists to empower a better future for pets and people. Since its inception in 2007, The Foundation has raised more than $10 million to date and has found homes for close to 41,000 rescue pets. Petstock Foundation is contributed to by the fundraising initiatives of the Petstock Group, donations by business partners and team members as they come together for the pets that inspire them. 100% of funds raised go towards The Foundation to support its charitable partners and projects with all operating costs covered by the business.

About National Pet Adoption Month

The Petstock Foundation is encouraging Australians to support rescue pets this National Pet Adoption Month, the 10th year of the initiative. Unfortunately, thousands of pets enter the rescue cycle each year through no fault of their own. This National Pet Adoption Month, we want people to open their hearts to a pet in need, and in turn experience the positive impact a pet can bring to their everyday life. Pets and people: we’re better together.

Related Stories:

State of Homelessness Project shines a light on challenges facing pets today