Pet owners go green
Australian pet owners have become increasingly aware of their responsibilities to the environment when it comes to caring for their four-legged companion.
“Pet ownership brings many benefits to owners and the communities they and their pets are part of, but it is vital that the responsibilities of being a pet owner are understood and acted on,” Dr Tim Adams from the Petcare Information and Advisory Service said.
“The main environmental issues associated with pet ownership are keeping cats in at night and cleaning up after dogs.”
Research by Roy Morgan Research, which questioned almost 1000 pet owners, showed 78% of respondents keep their cats indoors at night compared with 63% in 1994.
“There are similar improvements in the number of owners who report cleaning up after their dog. 64% of dog owners now report that they ‘always’ pick up their dog droppings, compared with 33% in 1994,” Dr Adams said.
“It is particularly pleasing that 61% of the general population felt that the extent to which dog owners pick up droppings had either ‘increased a lot’ or ‘increased moderately’ since 1994.”
President of the Australian Companion Animal Council Dr Kersti Seksel said her experience supports the findings that people are more aware of environmental issues.
“There are many people who love their pets and want to do the right thing by the environment,” Dr Seksel said. “Keeping your cat inside at night and cleaning up after your dog are important ways you can help protect the environment, but training your dog to obey your commands and keeping your dog on a leash in areas where it is required are also important.
“Cats and dogs are not allowed in National Parks but it is also appropriate to keep them out of most State Parks and Marine Parks.
“You can also use recycled paper for cat litter and targeted flea control products that minimize any impact on the surrounding environment.”