How to decide to get a pet

Before you decide to get a cat or dog, make sure you’re ready to take on the responsibility of caring for a pet throughout his entire life. Dogs live for up to at least twelve years and cats can live even longer. This means your new companion is going to be around for a large part of your life. You will go through career changes, possibly move house more than once and experience many highs and lows over this time. Your pet will be there through all of this with you. Choosing to take on a pet is like adding a new member to the family.

You should consider the greater picture of pet ownership before you make the decision to take on a pet. Are you willing and able to care for the pet properly? Will a pet suit your lifestyle and be comfortable living in your home? Is your backyard large enough if you are choosing a dog? Is a pet really what you want or need in your life? Taking the time to ask yourself these difficult questions before you take on a pet will ensure the best possible outcome for you and the animal.

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The Dos and Don’ts of Choosing a Pet


  • Choose a pet that will suit your lifestyle
  • Be honest with yourself about how much grooming, training, and exercise you can provide a pet
  • Research: read up on the behaviour, personality and health care needs of the pet you want
  • Make choosing the pet a family decision


  • Choose a breed just because it is popular
  • Buy a pet on impulse – puppies may look adorable in a pet shop window but remember that they will be grow up to be big dogs and are with you for 15 years
  • Be afraid to call your vet for advice

What Pet to Get

With many breeds to pick from and countless numbers of mixed breeds available, choosing a pet can be a daunting task. If you just head and pick the first cute puppy or kitten, you may end up with an adult pet that’s too big or too active for you and your house. You should narrow your choice and focus on things such as your environment, your lifestyle, and your expectations. How much time can you really spend with the pet?

Visit and answer the questions to help you select the correct pet.

Where to look when choosing a pet?

This depends on what you are looking for.

Purebred puppies and kittens:

A reputable and responsible breeder should be at the top of your list if you want a purebred pet. It is best to discuss this with your veterinarian. They will be able to guide you in the correct direction.

For a mixed breed puppy or kitten:

Shelters are excellent places to adopt a puppy or kitten as well as adult pets. Not all pets that are in a shelter are problem pets. For many, their owners are no longer able to care for them or they have been lost. Always spend some time with the animal and find out as much information as possible.