5 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A PET

Are you planning a pet as the perfect Christmas gift this season? Before you introduce a new kitten or puppy to the family, consider these essential points of pet ownership.
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KNOW WHAT YOU’RE COMMITING TO

Buying a pet should never be an impulsive decision. It’s important to research the species or breed/crossbread of your chosen pet prior to buying to ensure suits your lifestyle. Will you be available to walk your dog every day? Is there someone to look after your pet when you holiday?
It’s easy to fall in love with cute kittens and puppies at first glance, but you need to remember you’ll be caring for an adult dog or adult cat down the track. With an average lifespan of 12 years, and in some cases even 15- 20 years, it’s important to understand the long-term nature of pet ownership.
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CONSIDER COSTS & AFFORDABILITY

These numbers will vary depending on the type of animal you choose, but it’s important to keep in mind upfront fees including: vaccination, microchipping, and desexing. Ongoing costs include: food, worming, annual health checks, vet bills, training, boarding, toys and bedding for the life of the animal.
According to a study commissioned by the Australian Companion
Animal Council, the average cost of owning a dog per annum was $1,056,
and owning a cat was $602 per annum.


DO YOU HAVE SUITABLE SPACE?

Carefully consider if you can provide the right environment for your pet. Are you allowed to keep pets where you live? If you’re considering getting a dog, do you have a yard? Is it secure? And if there is no yard, where will the dog be kept? Often homeowners will give permission for renters to have pets, but what happens if you have to move?
Although you can make almost any area pet friendly, there are some specific structural elements that make the space work at its optimum for pets. These include:
– Access to outdoor areas
– Contained inner courtyards and atriums
– Enclosed balconies
– Tiled or wooden floors
– Long corridors (great for cats)
– Access to direct, but not unavoidable light
– Pet-friendly features such as cat flaps
– Doggy doors and cat climbing racks
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BE AWARE OF HOME DANGERS

Take note of products around the house that may be harmful to your pet. Fertilisers, rodent poisons, snail and slug bait, and insecticides are dangerous when consumed by pets, and you’ll need to be wary of poisonous plants such as lily plants and castor oil plants that can be fatal if consumed. Be careful with food. Avocado, chocolate and onions are some popular food items that cause serious harm to animals.
DID YOU KNOW? According to RSPCA Australia, pet owners are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than non pet owners.
CAN YOU HAVE A PET IN THE CITY?

Research shows it’s possible to keep and enjoy pets in densely populated urban areas. It’s a matter of researching breeds to ensure you find one most suited to your city lifestyle. If you’re moving to a strata development, check the by-laws, which vary from developer to developer, to ensure your furry friend is welcome. And if you’re downsizing and moving your dog or cat to a home where they won’t have outdoor access, begin to restrict their existing access well before you make the move to ease them into the transition.
Please consider adopting a pet. According to adoptapet.com.com.au, there are currently 1,444 cats and kittens, and 637 dogs and puppies seeking new homes.*

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© 2015 The Home
*As of May 2015