MOST people have heard of the term 'furbaby'.
It's when someone refers to their pet (be it a bird, cat, dog, giraffe - you get the gist) as an integral part of their family, but now things seems to be going a bit too far.
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.
Mike Frizell, Founder, PetCircle.com.au said Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership.
"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," he said.
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," Mr Frizell said.
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