Can I look after a pet properly?
- Can you care for a dog/cat for over 10 years?
- Do you have time to care for a pet? eg: exercise, grooming, obedience and play.
- Can you arrange care for your pet when you're away?
- Do you live in a suitable location and type of housing for a pet?
- Do you have adequate space for the pet you are considering?
- What hours do you work, and will the pet have any company during the day?
- If renting accommodation, are you permitted to own a pet?
- If buying a puppy or kitten, can you provide care during the day and meals at regular intervals until it is six months of age?
- Can you confine your pet in suitable accommodation? Dogs must be safely contained to your property, and some councils also require cats to be confined to their owner's property too.
- Do you have young children? Some types of pets tolerate children better than others.
- Does a pet fit in with your lifestyle, activities, sporting pursuits and priorities?
- Are you prepared to have more than one pet? Some types of animals, such as birds and rabbits, need the company of each other to stay happy and healthy.
It's important to answer these questions honestly. Becoming a pet owner is an exciting prospect, but you shouldn't rush into it if you're not ready. Tens of thousands of pets are taken to animal shelters each year because owners can't look after them anymore. While shelters do their best to find new homes for these animals, sadly, many beautiful and healthy animals have to be euthanased (put to sleep). This is because not enough homes can be found for them – and we have an 'oversupply' of pets.
Learn more about different types of pets:
- Popular pets in Australia include cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, and fish. More unusual pets can include reptiles, ferrets, and amphibians.
- Try searching online for information about different types of pets.
- Contact dog and cat associations who can put you in touch with breed clubs who can provide information on particular breeds. It's important to know the requirements of different breeds because they can vary significantly.
- Speak to your local vet, animal welfare shelter, or people you know or meet who own the particular pet or breed you are considering.