A guide to adopting your first pet
Australia is a country of animal lovers. Over 29 million Australians own pets, making us one of the most pet-loving nations in the world. There are many mental and physical benefits to pet ownership, including a decreased risk of heart disease and increased social connection with other people.
We must improve their lives in return. It is important to meet their social, emotional, and physiological needs.
You may not realize that you have a financial commitment when you get a new pet. Some animals are more expensive than others, depending on the species, size, and health requirements.
The initial costs of cats and dogs are their vaccinations, microchipping, and desexing. You will also need to consider ongoing costs, including food, vet bills, regular checkups, vaccinations, training, flea/tick prevention, toys, and bedding. These are all essential for your pet’s safety and health.
You should also have an emergency fund for your pet in case of unexpected injuries, illnesses, or accidents.
Pets bring love and joy into our lives. You will enjoy a rewarding relationship if you take the time to bond and build trust, confidence, and affection with your pet. This includes daily walks for dogs (ideally twice per day), training, playtime, and car trips. This includes grooming, playtime, and affection for cats.
Puppies, kittens, and other small animals require a significant amount of time. They are similar to a new baby in many ways. When caring for kittens and puppies, be prepared to spend a lot of time and love.
Spending time with social animals such as guinea pigs and bunnies is equally important. To have happy, healthy companions, you need to provide them with adequate enrichment.
It is important to consider the size of your house or garden when deciding what kind of animal you want. You will feel more confident in your choice if you spend more time researching specific breeds and species.
Consider if your backyard is suitable, if it’s secure, and where you will keep the dog when you aren’t home. If you have a cat, they can be happy in any space. They will enjoy a larger home with outdoor space or a smaller apartment with no outdoor area as long as there are enough opportunities for them to show their natural behaviors, like playing with toys or climbing high places around the house.
You must tell your landlord if you plan to rent a home and get a pet. Consider your plans for your animal if you decide to move from one property to another or even across the country.
Ownership of a pet is a commitment that lasts 10-20 years. The average lifespan of cats and dogs is 10-14 years. However, many live up to 15 or 20 years. You should be able to look forward to your future and know that you will be competent to care for and love your pet for their entire lifetime.
Consider adopting an older pet from a shelter like the RSPCA if you cannot make such a commitment. You will not only be giving an animal a second life but also allowing yourself to enjoy the benefits of pet ownership at a time that is right for you.
Visit the RSPCA Knowledgebase or Smart Puppy and Kitten Buyers Guide online for more information about preparing to own a pet.