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Pets Living the High Life

Friday, 29th October 2010

Vet Katrina Warren with "Pets in the City" book

Australia is a nation of pet lovers. It is estimated that 63% of Australian households have some type of pet, with 53% owning a dog or cat.

With around one-in-four Australian households currently living in apartments,  the issue of pets in strata buildings is becoming - if you’ll excuse the terrible pun - “the Great Dane in the room!”
Fortunately, the Petcare Information and Advisory Service (PIAS) has produced a comprehensive publication called Pets in the City which can be downloaded free from their website
The well-researched, beautifully crafted, coffee-table quality book is a non-commercial guide to owning a pet in a city environment, and contains information on:

·        how to negotiate rental and strata property pet ownership
·        selecting the right pet for an apartment
·        downsizing with a pet
·        caring for a pet with limited or no outdoor space
·        general tips on dog and cat care, and
·        how our changing lifestyles and living arrangements can work for both pets and people.
There are many case studies showing pets living happily in a high-rise environment, and examples of pet-friendly strata developments where capital values actually increase because of the policy. (A Queensland survey found that people would pay 5-10% more for a property that is pet-friendly, and that real agents report such properties create 50% more buyer interest).
A great benefit of the 100-page publication is expert advice about strata laws concerning pets
“All owners and residents living in strata schemes must obey a set of by by-laws, which may vary from one development to another. So if you want to keep a pet, it is important you know the laws before you commit to live there,” said Susie Willis from PIAS.
“This is true whether you are buying or renting. Even if your landlord is happy for you to keep pets, or the real estate agent tells you the building is pet-friendly, it is sensible for you or your solicitor to examine the by-laws.”
Pets in the City gives practical advice on how to go about negotiating for pet-friendly by-laws.
“Over many years, Australian and international research has shown that owning pets can help improve a person’s mental and physical health, reduce the effects of stress, help children learn about responsibility, facilitate social interaction between people and build a sense of community,” said Susie.

“Keeping the right pet in the inner-city is just as responsible – and rewarding – as keeping a pet on a quarter acre block. We hope that Pets in the City will help pet owners, as well as providing useful information to those that develop policies and regulations about pet ownership.”

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