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Outdoor living

Pets

A dog and a cat in the garden

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Over 60 per cent of Australian households own a pet, with dogs and cats the companions of choice.

You may not have considered that many of the decisions you make in choosing and owning a pet have costs and impacts.

The following tips are designed to help you reduce your pets impact and costs —they assume you have done your research on diet, exercise and veterinary care needs.

  • Planning carefully. Pet food, training, toys and vet visits consume energy, create waste and cost you money, so it makes sense to choose your pet based on how best you will meet all these needs, keeping your budget and lifestyle firmly in mind.
  • Keep it simple. As with humans, the more your pet consumes the bigger its impact and cost. Making use of things you already have around the home, avoiding unnecessary products and packaging waste, and recycling where you can are key ways you can reduce the impact from your pet.
  • Pets love to play. But they aren't picky about the latest toys and gadgets. They'll be just as happy with an old rope or second-hand soft toy from the op shop as brand new items. So why not recycle some of your unwanted items into a great pet plaything. Old footballs and tennis balls and the humble stick are great to tire out energetic canines as a complement to the daily walk. Your cat will love something bright or fluffy tied on the end of a string.
  • Pick up pet waste carefully. Pet waste contains bacteria and worms and can be a source of infection. So whether out in public or in your own backyard, it's important to dispose of it properly. Biodegradable bags are available to pick up waste in public spaces. Councils have different laws about disposing of waste in the regular garbage at home.

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