Australia does have a lot of titles and claims under its name, and having the highest pet ownership rates in the world is one of them. According to a 2019 national survey, over 60 per cent of households in the country own a pet. About 90 per cent took care of one at some point in their lives.
In fact, if Animal Medicines Australia were to extrapolate these numbers across all homes in Australia, it would appear that there will be more animals than humans in every household. But that’s not all.
Australians see pets, particularly dogs and cats, more intimately. More than half of cat and dog owners consider these animals as their ‘fur babies’. At least 25 per cent bring them to holidays and trips while 50 per cent allow them to share beds.
An overwhelming 60 per cent count them as part of the family. Some may even show ‘parenting behaviors,’ such as giving their pets human names or talking to them as if they’re children.
It won’t be surprising, therefore, if pets become a significant factor in any human’s decision to move to the suburbs, such as those in Melbourne. Will it benefit them? It turns out that the answer is yes.
Here’s How the Suburbs Can Be Good for Pet
Investing in land for sale in Northern Melbourne can benefit homeowners in many ways. Often, these properties are cheaper than the national average. They may even be more affordable than homes in Melbourne CBD.
They also include essential community features, like easier access to public transit, plenty of walking spaces and greenery, and proximity to social services, such as healthcare facilities, without the stressful urban lifestyle.
Most of all, they are just as excellent home choices for pets:
1. Urban Noise Can Have a Profound Effect on Pets
The Conversation said it succinctly: urban noise is the by-product of growth and development. Sadly, it can also have significant negative health impacts on humans. But what about pets?
In reality, pets are more adaptable to their environment. In fact, in a vet setting, animal handling may cause more stress than noise on animals, according to a 2019 study. However, that doesn’t mean they’re all right with noise pollution.
One, excessive noise can cause temporary hearing loss for animals, and that can affect their responses to commands or their behavior. Worse, some dogs may actually develop fear and anxiety from exposure to loud noises. According to a 2018 research in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, it could be because these animals may associate the noise with pain.
Meanwhile, unexpected and loud noises may cause cats to be always on guard. Unlike humans, however, they cannot immediately label these sounds as harmless. When their fight-or-flight response is always heightened, it may lead to chronic stress.
2. Properties in the Suburbs Are More Likely to Have Yards
Australian homes in urban areas are getting smaller, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The average site area for newly approved home plans decreased by 22 per cent over the last 15 years.
A typical lot area now is less than 480 square meters. The decline was even more pronounced in popular areas like Sydney and Melbourne.
But that’s not the case in the suburbs. Some lot sizes can be as huge as 700 to 800 square meters. Moreover, in developed plans, these properties may have allocations for yards. And even if yards are small, pets can still explore the nearby outdoors.
The ability to move around freely for dogs and cats is essential to keep them stimulated and avoid them from expelling their energy on furniture. The risks of obesity and, in turn, chronic diseases like joint pain or diabetes also decrease since they can get plenty of exercise.
3. Humans May Feel More Relaxed in the Suburbs
Urban stress is real, and it can increase the odds of chronic conditions among humans. The problem is, pets, particularly dogs, can feel it too—and feel stressed as well.
In one of the interesting studies involving dogs and their female owners, the researchers learned that the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, were the same for both.
Stressed dogs may exhibit unpleasant behaviors that can range from excessive barking, aggression, pacing, and biting and chewing.
The suburbs may help reduce human stress by exposing them to green spaces. Many studies already show that nature can decrease stress biomarkers such as heart rate and blood pressure, helping the individual feel more relaxed.
With these benefits, living in the suburbs becomes an attractive idea for families—and pets—who are tired of the noise and stress.