These days, you’re not so strange if you want to pamper your pooch. Especially not according to the latest spending figures, which show our fur kids are attracting some serious retail therapy. Dr Joanne Sillince, the new head of the Pet
Industry Association of Australia (PIAA), says Australians are now lavishing $4.6 billion a year on their beloved pets (according to BIS Shrapnels 2006 research) and not just for basics like food and medical care, but for luxury extras like designer clothing, grooming and holidays.Its all part of a global trend to pet spend, with the most recent US figures showing Americans are bestowing $44 billion a year on their animals, with predictions that figure will rise by nearly six per cent in 2008.
Sillince thinks Aussie pet owners will follow the same indulgent path, dedicating more dosh to high-end goods and services for our nations 3.75 million canine companions. Those people who commit to having a pet seem to be committing more completely, which means they’re pampering their pet to a greater extent, Sillince says.
The PIAA thinks that is a great example of how socially responsible pet ownership in Australia has become. And with a preference in the last decade for smaller dog breeds, like Poodles and Poodle crosses, is it any wonder we want turn out Pretty Princesses and Sharp Little Fellas?
Sillince confesses she spoils her three-year-old Labradoodle, Molly, with lots of time for tricks. Her idea of pampering is just spend time with me, mum. And she loves to learn new tricks she shakes hands, begs and high-fives, the PIAA chief says.And that brings us to the first tip on our list of pampering favourites:
1. Me time In our culture of busyness, sometimes we forget to make time for the people we love most our family and friends. If you’re reading this mag, your dog is obviously part of that inner circle. So ensure you make time for him with a daily walk, a cuddle session or a special weekend outing. After all, deeds speak louder than words.
2. 100 strokes Granny swore by a 100 strokes of the brush every night for healthy, shiny locks. Why not invest in that age-old philosophy for your dog, with a grooming session before bed? Its a great way to keep knots at bay and help your dog unwind before the nightly snooze.
3. Sweet treats It was already a dogs life when you could just laze around in the sun. Add an afternoon tea of scrumptious French patisseries now that’s doggy heaven! Various companies have made an art form out of gourmet dog treats, with decadent petit fours, carob slices, doggy donuts and birthday cakes.
READ THE REST OF OUR IDEAS IN DOGS LIFE JULY/AUGUST EDITION.You need to look after your pooch's health - check out our all-new DOGSLife Directory