Can I look after a pet properly?

Things to think about before getting a pet include:

  • Can you care for a dog or cat for over 10 years?
  • Can you afford to own a pet? Costs may include purchase price, food, bedding, council registration, microchipping, vaccination, worming, vet bills, toys, collars and leads, grooming, de-sexing, obedience training and boarding.
  • Do you have time to care for a pet? Including 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? Will the pet have any company during the day?
  • If renting accommodation, are you allowed 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 6 months of age?
  • Can you confine your pet in suitable accommodation? Dogs must be safely contained to your property. Some councils require cats to be confined to their owner's property too.
  • Does a pet fit in with your lifestyle, activities, sporting pursuits and priorities?

Answer these questions honestly. Becoming a pet owner is an exciting prospect. But don't rush into it if you're not ready.

Thousands of pets are taken to Victorian 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 healthy animals have to be euthanased (put to sleep). This is because not enough homes can be found for them — we have an 'oversupply' of pets.

If you have answered 'yes' to all of the questions, you are now ready to decide what type of pet you would like.

Page last updated: 01 Jul 2020