Pawsome Victoria: the rise of pet-friendly cities
Furry friends have always been part of the family. Now there are moves to modify our cities for them.
I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’m one of the nine per cent of Aussies who spent more than $1000 buying a dog, according to the Animal Medicines Australia Pet Ownership in Australia 2016 report. What the report won’t tell you is that my toy poodle, Jinkee, also sleeps on my bed, has her own wardrobe, seatbelt, multiple carriers and more than 80,000 followers on Instagram (see @LifeOfJinkee).
The ultimate would be a city in which landlords allow four-legged friends without hesitation.
And yet in this age of fur babies, where pets are as much a part of the family as children, the report says increasing urbanisation and strata laws threaten pet ownership in Australia.
But I’d argue that Victoria is pet-friendlier than ever. A staggering 40 per cent of Victorians own dogs, and 35 per cent have cats. Those numbers alone make us a pet-friendly state, but the ultimate would be a city in which landlords allow four-legged friends without hesitation, restaurants let dogs dine indoors and pets can catch public transport without a muzzle.
In the US, dogs in approved carriers fly in the cabin to other states, while a dog bakery in Slovenia that opened five years ago is now franchised across Europe. It might sound far-fetched, but Melbourne isn’t far behind.