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What shoud you consider when buying a pet?

Saying yes to a pet means that you are accepting a duty of care for its lifetime welfare.

Things that you need to consider when deciding what type of pet would best suit your environment and lifestyle include:

Your home and property:

  • Is there adequate space?
  • Can the pet be securely confined?
  • Can you provide adequate shelter?
  • Can you set up separate areas for pets and young children (if applicable)?

Your lifestyle:

  • How much time can you (and your family, if applicable) devote to a pet?
  • Will you have time to supervise young children with a pet (if applicable)?

The costs which could include:

  • Purchase
  • Housing
  • Feeding
  • Microchipping and registration
  • Vet checks; vaccinations; and worming, tick and flea treatments
  • Desexing (permanent sterilisation)
  • Grooming
  • Training
  • Boarding

Once you have considered these factors, you may have a greater understanding of the type of pet that would suit you and your family. Sometimes, the most responsible thing you can do is to decide not to have a pet until your circumstances change.

If, however, you decide that a cat or dog would be the most suitable pet for you and your family, consider obtaining your cat or dog from a council pound, animal welfare organisation or animal rescue organisation. Many healthy cats and dogs are euthanased (put to sleep) each year because suitable homes cannot be found for them.

If you are buying a cat or dog and you are buying from a breeder, make sure that s/he is a reputable breeder and that his/her establishment and practices fully comply with the Animal Welfare Code of Practice - Breeding dogs and cats. If you are buying a cat or dog from a pet shop, make sure that it is a reputable pet shop and that it fully complies with the Animal Welfare Code of Practice - Animals in pet shops.

When you bring your cat or dog home, help it to gradually adjust to you and your family, its new surroundings and its new routine.

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