- Government to allow onsite pet grooming services to reopen, Melbourne pet families are cheerful.
- PIAA has applauded the decision saying grooming services are essential for animals overall wellbeing.
- Since the novel coronavirus pandemic struck, pet parents are struggling to keep their pets healthy and happy.
When it comes to pets, many Australians are willing to go the extra mile for their pet's well being. In fact, according to the Animal Medicines Australia (AMA) study conducted in 2019, there are almost 29 million pets in Australia today, which is more than the estimated human population of 25 million.
Australians treat their pets like members of the family and put in a lot of efforts in terms of time and money on keeping them healthy and happy.
Victorian government announces pet grooming services to reopen
Recently, when the Victorian government announced that the onsite dog grooming services could reopen from September 20, pet families and the industry welcomed the decision. The Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) said that this is excellent news for four-legged members of Melbourne families.
Earlier under the stage four lockdown, the pet grooming services were asked to stay shut. PIAA national president, Barry Codling said that they weren't expecting this announcement until the end of October.
Codling said in the press release that dog grooming is not about creating photo-worthy pets, but it is essential for the excellent health and wellbeing of the animal. If the grooming is not done professionally and with consistent care, then it can cause a threat to animals such as the risk of injury.
The government's decision will allow the pet owners not just to groom the animals but also treat them for fur related common issues such as parasites and other skin problems.
Even though the PIAA has welcomed the decision to reopen the pet grooming services, the association is releasing an Advocacy Paper. The paper suggests wide reopening for pet industry businesses, including mobile pet grooming across the stage four lockdown areas from the end of next week.
Pet caring are essential facilities
It is necessary to understand that pets are the valued members of their human families and hence with the pet grooming services reopening, more can be done to restart the other facilities as well.
Mobile grooming, walking, training, boarding services with approved COVID-19 safe plans can be restarted to help the pet families. Mobile grooming services can reopen with restrictions and rules in place such as no direct contact with the human client along with COVID-19 safe approved plan.
Mobile services can assist the families and people who have trouble bringing their pets to the onsite services. Frail elderly, people with disabilities and those who have no private transport or restricted mobility are particularly facing problems with pet grooming. These services play a valuable role in the welfare of Melbourne's pets and their owners.
PIAA urging the government to reopen broader services
Pets and animals in general, around the world, have become innocent victims in this pandemic. Animal lovers believe that as humans, we must cater to the needs of our pets.
Hence the PIAA national president, Barry Codling believes that there is no need to shut down wider pet care services if the necessary Covid-19 precautions are taken care of.
Even still, The Victorian government has shown willingness to change its Covid-19 roadmap for Melbourne's pets. Codling says that the latest announcement is an excellent start for the families and pet industry as well.
Apart from veterinary care, other pet care and support services such as grooming, boarding, walking and training were all closed since the lockdown. It has not just resulted in job loss for thousands of Victorians, but many animals also suffered health and wellbeing problems.
Pets play an important role in modern Australian society
The pet parents are under tremendous stress about the welfare of their four-legged family members. Since the novel coronavirus pandemic continued for a very long period, parents are looking for expert advice to help their pet achieve a healthier lifestyle. Various online portals have started to sell pet products, which is making life easier for pet families during the lockdown.
According to the Animal Medicines Australia study conducted in 2019, the Australian market for pet products and accessories have reached an estimated A$1.2 billion each year, in 2016 it was A$1.1 billion. Dog owners spend more than A$600, and cat owners pay A$250. The everyday items bought are food bowls, bedding, leads, litter trays, toys and clothing.
Australians are extremely keen on spending on the health of their pets. An estimate of A$2.6 billion each year is being spent at veterinary clinics. The expenditure rose by 19% in the past three years. Investment on pet insurance has also surged by 56% over the same period.
Notably, spending on veterinary services has been driven by dog owners. The cat and fish owners also spent about A$439 million on their pet's health.
With pressure developing from the pet industry, it will now be interesting to see if the government allows all the pet care and grooming services to reopen even during stage four lockdown.
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