Australia is in the middle of a new trend - the humanisation of pets by their pet parents.
People are treating their pets as if they were their own children, feeding them specialty food, sharing meals with them, putting clothes on their backs, entering their pets into beauty pageants and fashion shows and even creating Instagram accounts on behalf of their pets.
'According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world with approximately 63% of households owning a pet. There are a staggering 33 million pets in Australia now.
'Kennels and house minders are no longer good enough to care for pets, with pet owners sending their loved ones to pet resorts and spas, as if they were going on an overseas holiday. Some couples have even been known to perform rigorous interview processes to choose an adequate babysitter/minder for their dogs", said Mike Frizell, Founder, PetCircle.com.au.
People often feed their pets human food and it goes much further than a few scraps under the dinner table. It is quite common for pet owners to cook meals for their pets and share the same dinner. Pet owners are open to feeding their dogs eggs, fillet steak, chicken breast, milk and even fast food sometimes.
'Often owners have the best intentions but don't realise dogs have different nutritional requirements to humans so may inadvertently be feeding their pets a poorly balanced diet, by cooking at home. Modern high quality pet food has come a long way over the years and now has all the proper nutrition dogs need for a balanced diet.
"Another key trend we are seeing in our Australian pets, is a growing obesity problem. This growing trend in turn has led to products on the market now to help dogs lose weight", said Frizell.
Companionship is the main reason people own a pet and most people really do treat their pet like they would their own child.
'With things such as dog seat belts in cars now, along with animal resorts, specific parks for dogs only, food and pet fashion, pets are more than ever being treated as fur kids by their parents", concluded Frizell.