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Partners in doghouse, pets move in

Kellie-Jo Putman with two of her clients, Bella and Max, who get pampered with a haircut and a bath every six weeks.
Kellie-Jo Putman with two of her clients, Bella and Max, who get pampered with a haircut and a bath every six weeks.

WE all love our dogs, but there are some who take their puppy love just that little bit further by spending more money on their beloved pooches than their own partners.

A recent PawClub survey of pet owners found four out of five Australian women not only spend more on their dogs, but also neglect their partners for their pets.

It also found men don’t seem to share the same affection for their dogs as women, with only 63% devoting more cash to their pets than loved ones.

Kellie-Jo Putman, from KJ’s Complete Mobile Pet Care, said there were plenty of Emerald residents who devoted lots of time and money on the fluffy creatures.

“I get requests to give them mohawks and all sorts of weird and wonderful little hairdos,” Kellie-Jo said. “People even ask me to dye their dogs.”

Kellie-Jo said she tried to fill all owners’ desires for their pets’ maintenance and that there were plenty of new dyes and beauty products on the market specifically designed for pets.

“You can pretty much get anything for them these days,” she said. “There are even Bowen therapists out there for animals if you want to get them massaged.”

Kellie-Jo said as long as pets were being looked after beyond their looks, the amount of money people spent on them was neither here nor there.

“If they’ve got the money, good on them,” she said with a laugh.

With her busiest time of the year during summer, Kellie-Jo clips, walks, grooms, washes and minds animals.

“I even clip cats, which isn’t always the most pleasant thing,” she said.

Kellie-Jo said the most pampered pooches in Emerald would have to be maltese and poodle breeds.

“Most little dogs are pretty spoilt,” she said.

Kellie-Jo said the most expensive clip she did for pet owners was for dogs competing in shows.

“They usually take about three hours to do, so luckily there aren’t that many of those ones,” she said with a laugh.

“They are usually only people who are passing through that get those done.”

Vet and media personality Michael Archinal said it was encouraging to see Australians being so attentive to their dogs.

However he said the time and expenditure was not being reflected in the physical care of dogs, with more than half of Queensland owners walking their pet less than once a day.

“It is important that dog owners don’t get too carried away with the superficial care of their pet and remember that money can’t buy love,” Dr Archinal said.

“Dog owners need to keep their companion fit and healthy. The benefits of walking and socialising a dog cannot be underestimated.”


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