Finding the best pet for you

Really want a pet but stuck on which one would be right for you? Here are some things to consider when wondering which pet is best for you.

14 Jun 2015 By Zookie Comments

Having a furry friend is one of the best joys in life. However, choosing a pet that is right for you is not as simple as finding the cutest dog or cat. With Zookie choosing the right pet is a walk in the park.

First things first - why do you want a pet?

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It’s important to choose a pet that fits into your life, otherwise people can feel burdened by their new friends and end up abandoning the animals. 

Are you looking for a loyal companion or a cuddle buddy?  Will they be for one person, shared by a couple or part of a large family? 

Pets are a great way to teach children responsibility. If you are a parent, choose a pet compatible with your children. Age is an important factor in this case as it will determine how much attention and responsibility they can give. 

 

Consider your lifestyle choices

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Choosing the right pet for you depends on your lifestyle. Your location, home environment, and free time are all important factors when deciding on a pet. Here are some things to consider:

Does your home have enough space for a pet that might be a bit territorial? Do you have time to devote to an affectionate pet that might need plenty of belly rubs and walks? How old are the children in the house?

Different animals and their specific breeds have different temperaments and characteristics. You may find that the pet your original wanted doesn’t suit the lifestyle you lead.

Finally, if you rent, always check with your landlord about any pet restrictions.

 

Don't forget, a pet is a long-term partner

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When choosing an animal as a pet, you will also have to consider their life spans. Most dogs can live ten to fifteen years, while cats have been known to live as long as twenty years! 

The most important thing to remember is that a pet is a responsibility. They are a living animal that needs time, care and most importantly love.

 

The best pet for you and your family

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Here's some fast facts to help you get started on choosing the right pet for you. 

Dogs

  • Need daily walks
  • Require constant socializing to be healthy and happy.
  • Dogs thrive in routine; they like having set times for walks, play, and even eating.
  • RSPCA and shelter dogs are usually vaccinated, desexed and heartworm free.
  • In Australia, all dogs over 3 months must be registered with the local council. This is renewed yearly.
  • The average dog owner spends approx. $900 in dog food a year.
  • Dogs are most active of the furry favourites and require constant looking after, however they love unconditionally and are extremely loyal.

Small Dogs

  • Small dog breeds live up to 11 years
  • Small dogs can suit townhouses and apartments
  • Some small dogs breeds are less ideal for boisterous small children as they may be quick to bite when they feel threatened.

Large Dogs

  • Large dog breeds can live up to 15 years
  • Large dogs will need a big backyard to play in
  • Larger dogs need longer or more frequent walks

Cats

  • More solitary animals than dogs
  • Most cats live up to12-14 years, however some have been known to live for 20 years!
  • Cats are suited to apartments, houses with gardens, just about anywhere.
  • Some local council may require cats to be confined to your property. Eg. Staying indoors or having a cat enclosure.
  • In Australia, all cats over 3 months must be registered with the local council. This is renewed yearly.
  • Cats are good for a cuddle and don’t need constant attention, making them great for people with busy lifestyles.

Birds

  • Live up to 5-10 years (some cockatoos have be known to live to 40!)
  • Birds are ideal for apartments, houses and first pets.
  • Favourite breeds are budgerigars, cockatiels, lovebirds and canaries.
  • Highly social. Will require a friend or special attention everyday.
  • Parrots, cockatoos, parakeets and cockatiels are the most affectionate birds and these are also the most talkative. You can even teach them to talk to you.

Rabbits

  • Live up to 6-12 years
  • Very clever and cheeky pets
  • Social animals who will require a friend.
  • Best suited for a hutch in the backyard.
  • Eat their own bodyweight in grass hay each day.
  • Long-haired rabbits need constant grooming
  • Rabbits need to run, dig and play every day.

Fish

  • A great first pet
  • Can live between 5-8 years
  • Tank requires at least 10 litres of water per fish
  • Aquariums will need plants for oxidation of water
  • Fish are shy and will need a rock or figurine to hide behind if scared
  • Perfect for apartments and bench tops.

 

Adoption and Pet Shelters

There are plenty of pets looking for a good home at your local pet shelter. These are often animals who couldn’t be looked after by their old owners and are looking for a new family.

Young puppies and kittens need constant socialization and feeding during the first 6 months of life. If you are nervous about owning your first pet why not adopt an adult dog or cat who is already socialized or housetrained.

RSPCA or shelter animals are often vaccinated, desexed and heartworm free.

 

What is it going to cost me?

Here are some costs you need to consider when choosing a pet. 

  • Food
  • Dental care
  • Parasite control eg. Fleas, worming, heartworm protection
  • Vaccinations
  • Desexing
  • Regular check ups with the (cover your pet’s ears) vet
  • Council registration
  • Insurance
  • Grooming
  • Boarding kennels or catteries for when you go away
  • Training or behaviour classes
  • Bedding
  • Collars, leads, name tags and toys

 

Remember that each breed is different and will require more research. For example, a kelpie will need far more exercise than a cocker spaniel. A rag doll cat will need more grooming than a Siamese. And an angel fish will need more room than a goldfish.

 

If you've decided that a dog or a cat is the go—it's time to find the right breed for you and your lifestyle. Check out Zookie's Cat Breed Selector or Dog Breed Selector.

 

14 Jun 2015 By Zookie Comments

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