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Pet Licence
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Adopting a Dog
- an important decision


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Jump to Test

Bringing a pet into your life is a wonderful and rewarding experience but is also a commitment for the animal’s lifetime.

Take a moment to pause and ask yourself the following important questions before deciding to bring a dog into your life:

  1. Can I commit to owning a dog for the next 10 to 15 years?
  2. Do I have the finances available to cover the costs involved in owning a dog?
  3. Do I have the available time to care for a dog?
  4. Is my lifestyle suitable for owning a dog?
  5. Is my home suitable for looking after a dog?
  6. Are all members of the household ready for the responsibility of owning a dog?
  7. Am I honestly ready for the responsibility of owning a dog?

If the answer is yes to all of the above, and you are ready me to welcome a new puppy or dog into your life, then you will need to carefully consider what type of dog will best suit you.

Adopting a Dog : Test questions


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Although lifespans can vary between breeds, the average dog will live for: 


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There are many expenses involved in owning and looking after a dog. The average cost per year, not including additional veterinary care and training, is at least:


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Adopting a Dog
- an important decision

Go Back

Questions to ask yourself before getting a puppy or dog

Are you thinking of bringing a new pet into your home? Owning a puppy or dog is a very rewarding and enriching experience, but it is also a commitment for the animal’s lifetime, so making the correct decision is critical.

Pets are a great responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly. The kind of relationship you build with your dog is dependent on the commitment you are willing to make.

1) Can I commit to owning a dog for the next 10-15 years?

Although lifespans can vary in between breeds, the average dog will live for 10 to 15 years.

Of course, it’s very hard to predict the future but if you’re likely to move into a rental place, start a family or head overseas to live, it might not be the best time to get a dog.

 

2) Do I have the finances available to look after a dog?

There are many costs involved in owning a pet, including food, council registration, annual vaccinations, general veterinary expenses, grooming and boarding. Do you have the funds available to comfortably look after a dog, or are your financial circumstances likely to change greatly during the dog’s life?

Owning a dog means caring for it in sickness and in health. Veterinary bills can be one of the biggest expenses - if there was an accident or an emergency, do you have enough money saved to cover the cost? Or would you consider taking out pet insurance?

The upfront cost of owning a dog in the first year is estimated to be between $1,245 and $3,010.

This includes:

  • Purchase price
  • Microchip
  • Council registration
  • Desexing
  • Flea and worm treatment
  • Vaccinations
  • Training
  • Bedding
  • Food, treats and bowls
  • Collars, leads, toys etc

Following the first year, it will cost at the very minimum $1,800 on average per year to look after a dog, plus any extras including veterinary care, boarding and ongoing training.

See Fact 1

3) Do I have the time to look after a dog?

These days our lives are go, go, go! Work, family, travel and social commitments lead to a very busy lifestyle.

Think about how much time you will have each day to devote to your dog or puppy, including exercise, obedience training, grooming and play.

It is recommended that you invest at a minimum four contact hours per day with your dog.

If you work extra-long hours, or have an abundance of family or extracurricular activities, it may not be the best time to get a dog.

If you are planning on leaving a dog exclusively outdoors, think again. Dogs are social animals and crave the company of humans, their ‘pack’. A dog which is left outside all day and night, will quickly develop behavioral and psychological issues.

See Fact 2

4) Is my lifestyle suitable for owning a dog?

Dogs need stability and routine to feel secure, and their life is dependent on you.

You should consider how a dog will impact lifestyle decisions such as having a baby, holidays, moving home and re-locating overseas. If you’re away, sick or injured, who will look after your dog?

5) Is my home suitable for looking after a dog?

Do you have adequate space and secure fencing for the dog you’re considering, including undercover or indoor areas your dog could access at all hours?

If you are renting or planning on moving house, are you permitted to own a pet?

Do you live in a suitable location for the dog you are considering, e.g. inner city, rural, suburban?

If you are downsizing or live in an apartment with no backyard, you should carefully consider which type of pet is best for you.

6) Are all members of the household ready for the responsibility of owning a dog?

The environment we bring a dog into is very important. Is everyone on board with bringing a dog into the home?

Who is going to be responsible for walking, feeding, taking it to the vet?
Do you or any members of your household have an allergy to dogs?
Some dogs are more tolerant than others – will children be coming into contact with the dog?
If you decide to start a family, are you willing to prepare your dog for the new arrival and continue to include them as a valued family member?
Is everyone comfortable picking up dog poo, being covered in dog slobber, putting up with fur on clothes, floors and furniture and prepared for the potential scenario of damaged items?

Getting any pet must be a family decision and a family responsibility. For children to understand the routine of pet care and actively participate, it is advised that you wait until your children are at least seven years. Children can be enthusiastic in the beginning, but can tire quickly of the routine – remember ultimately parents are responsible for the pet.

7) Are you honestly ready for the responsibility of owning a dog?

Why do you want to adopt a dog? When making this important decision, it’s crucial not to let impulse or your emotions rule your head and heart. Be honest with yourself and make sure it is for the right reasons.

Choosing the most suitable dog for your household and lifestyle

There are a number of things to consider before selecting the breed or breed mix for you.

  • Would you prefer a puppy or dog?
  • What size dog would you prefer?
  • How energetic would you like your dog to be?
  • How much daily exercise would you be able to give your dog?
  • How much space do you have at your home?
  • Do you have young children or elderly people living with you?
  • How much time would you spend grooming your dog?
  • How often will the dog be left by itself?
  • Do you have any other pets?
  • Are you aware of inherited health problems certain breeds have?

We encourage you to carefully research your preferred breed or breed mix and speak to our friendly adoption staff who can help you decide upon the best dog for you. Selecting a compatible breed will ensure that you, your family and your dog have a very happy future together.

When you’re searching for a new dog or puppy, please consider adoption from a reputable animal welfare or rescue organisation as your first option. There are so many wonderful and deserving dogs and cats looking for a second chance in a good home – and with a wide variety of breeds, sizes, colours and personalities available for adoption, you’ll be sure to find your perfect match.

However if you are set on purchasing from a breeder, we encourage you to undertake your own extensive research before buying a puppy. The Lost Dogs’ Home supports Oscar’s Law and their campaign to abolish the factory farming of companion animals – please visit their website for further information on how to select an ethical breeder.

Finding your perfect match

  • Working dogs like blue heelers and kelpies require plenty of action and exercise to release energy and prevent boredom.
  • Some larger breeds can be very enthusiastic and could accidently knock over smaller children.
  • Staffordshire terriers crave attention and do not like being left alone for long periods of time.
  • Once beagles track an interesting smell they’re off, so a secure backyard and walks on lead are a must.
  • Maltese terriers and poodles require more grooming and regular clips than other breeds.
  • Greyhounds and whippets make great family dogs and despite what many people think they do not require a lot of exercise – in fact they love being a couch potato!

Questions to ask yourself before getting a puppy or dog

Owning a dog is an enriching experience, but it is also a commitment for the animal’s lifetime. The kind of relationship you build with your dog is dependent on the commitment you are willing to make.

1) Can I commit to owning a dog for the next 10-15 years?

Although lifespans vary in between breeds, the average dog will live for 10-15 years. Of course, it’s hard to predict the future, but if you’re likely to move into a rental place, start a family or head overseas to live, please consider becoming a foster carer for The Lost Dogs’ Home. Click <here> for more information on becoming a foster carer.

2) Can I afford to look after a dog?

There are many costs involved in owning a pet, including registration, food, yearly vaccinations and vet bills. The upfront cost of owning a dog in the first year is between $1,800 and $3,000. This includes:

  • The adoption fee from The Lost Dogs’ Home
  • Microchipping (included in the adoption fee)
  • Desexing (included in the adoption fee)
  • Vaccinations (some included in the adoption fee)
  • Council registration
  • Training
  • Flea and worm treatment
  • Food, treats, bowls
  • Collars, leads, toys, bedding, etc.

Following the first year, it will cost around $1,800 per year to look after a dog, plus extras (veterinary care, pet insurance and boarding).

Vet bills can be one of the biggest expenses. If there was an accident or an emergency, would you have enough money saved to cover the cost?

3) Do I have the time to look after a dog?

It is recommended that you invest around four hours per day with your dog. This should include exercise, obedience training, grooming and play.

A dog that is left outside all day and night without human interaction can develop behavioural and psychological issues.

5) Is my home suitable for a dog?

  • Do you have adequate space and secure fencing for the dog you’re considering, including undercover or indoor areas your dog could access at all hours?
  • If you are renting, are you permitted to own a pet?
  • Do you live in a suitable location for the dog you are considering? For example, inner city, rural, suburban.

6) Are all members of the household ready for the responsibility of owning a dog?

  • Is everyone willing to care for a new pet?
  • Who is going to be responsible for walking, feeding, taking it to the vet?
  • Do you or any members of your household have an allergy to dogs?
  • Will children be coming into contact with the dog?
  • If you decide to start a family, are you willing to prepare your dog for the new arrival and continue to include the dog as a valued family member?

Getting any pet must be a family decision and responsibility. Children can be enthusiastic in the beginning, but can quickly become bored. Parents are ultimately responsible for the pet.

7) Choosing the most suitable dog for your household and lifestyle

There are a number of things to consider before selecting the breed or breed mix for you.

  • Would you prefer a puppy or dog?
  • What size dog would you prefer?
  • How energetic would you like your dog to be?
  • How much daily exercise are you able to give your dog?
  • How much space do you have at your home?
  • Do you have young children or elderly people living with you?
  • How much time would you spend grooming your dog?
  • How often will the dog be left alone?
  • Do you have any other pets?
  • Are you aware of inherited health problems certain breeds have?

Please research your preferred breed or breed mix and seek assistance to help you decide upon the best dog for you. A compatible breed will ensure that you, your family and your dog have a happy future together.

When searching for a dog or puppy, consider adopting from a reputable animal welfare or rescue organisation. There are so many wonderful animals looking for a good home — and with a wide variety of breeds, sizes, colours and personalities available, you’ll be sure to find your perfect match.

Tips on finding your perfect match

  • Working dogs like blue heelers and kelpies require ample action and exercise to release energy.
  • Some larger breeds can be very enthusiastic and can accidently knock over smaller children.
  • Staffordshire bull terriers crave attention and do not like being left alone for long periods of time.
  • Once beagles track an interesting smell, they’re off! A secure backyard and walks on lead are a must.
  • Maltese terriers and poodles require regular grooming.
  • Greyhounds and whippets make great family dogs and do not require a lot of exercise.