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Are you a cat or a dog owner? Or are you thinking of getting a pet?

This page contains important information you need to know.

Deciding to get a pet

Deciding to become a pet owner requires very considered thought and planning. All potential pet owners need to be sure they are really ready to take on the responsibility of owning a pet before going ahead and making a choice of breed of pet.

The first question you must ask yourself is "Can I look after a pet properly?" If the answer is "Yes", the next step is to make the right choice of pet in accordance with your lifestyle and priorities.

The average lifespan of a small dog is 11 years and, 12 years for a cat. This means pet owners need to be prepared to dedicate this many years (maybe even more) to properly looking after their pet.

If you are part of a family, the decision to get a pet should be a combined one, as all family members will come into contact with the pet, and should be involved in looking after it.

Important things to consider before deciding to own a pet include:

  • Are you prepared to care for a dog/cat for over 10 years?
  • Can you afford to own a pet with costs such as registration, vaccination, general health care, vet bills, food, grooming, de-sexing, obedience training, and boarding?
  • Do you have time to care for a pet? eg: daily exercise, grooming, obedience and play.Who will look after 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/kitten, can you provide care during the day and meals at regular intervals until it is six months of age?
  • Does a pet fit in with your lifestyle, activities, sporting pursuits and priorities? 

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