A new study has revealed that Australian pets are not getting enough exercise — and one solution might be to take them out for a drink.
The study by La Trobe University surveyed more than 2,300 Victorians and found that 63 per cent of dogs were not walked daily and many pets were left alone for long periods of the day.
“Cats and dogs can live for over 10 years, so it’s important that we understand the responsibilities we have for our pets over their entire life span,” said lead researcher Dr Tiffani Howell.
“Owning pets can be a lot of fun, and pets can provide us with company, stress relief and unconditional love. Pet ownership also teaches children responsibility and helps them develop their social and nurturing skills.”
RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty told ABC News that a reason for the outcome could be that laws in Australia are restrictive.
“In England or Scotland or New York (for example) they are always getting exercise because they go everywhere with their owner,” he said.
“In Australia they can’t go everywhere with their owner, like a pub … They can in Europe and most parts of America and the UK.”
But with a dog parks in just about every suburb and an endless supply of walking tracks and trails, that shouldn’t be an excuse for pet owners.
Mr Beatty said a lack of exercise was also due to owners’ attitudes and laziness.
“Unfortunately some people seem to think that owning an animal is a right rather than a privilege. With that privilege comes certain responsibility,” he said.
The La Trobe University study also found 40 per cent of cats were overweight without their owners realising.
“For some reason in the last couple of years I’ve seen more obese cats than the previous five years,” Mr Beatty said.
What do you think? Should pets be allowed at the pub? How can we promote better pet exercise? Have your say in the comments below!