Welcoming a new pet to the family

Are you preparing for a furry addition to the family? Getting a new cat or dog is undeniably exciting, but you do need to plan ahead. To make sure you're providing the best care for your pet, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

A checklist for what to buy

Whether you're planning on buying a dog or cat, you'll need to make sure you have a few of these essential items. A collar with an ID tag securely attached is a must-have. Make sure that it will fit comfortably around your pet’s neck, although not so loosely that it could slip off. If you are getting a dog, a dog leash is also vital to ensure you can take your dog out for walks safely. It should be made of quality materials and be comfortable for you to handle.

Whether you're planning to purchase a cat or a dog, you'll need to have a few items ready in your home as well. Adequate bedding, water and food bowls, a litter box for your cat and the appropriate food should all be well stocked before you bring your furry friend home.  Toys are also a good idea, as they can help alleviate boredom for your new pet.

Dog Checklist

  • Food Bowl
  • Water bowl
  • Bedding
  • Leash
  • Collar
  • ID Tags
  • Dog Food
  • Treats
  • Toys and chews
  • Brush or comb  (for longer haired dogs)
  • Dog nail clippers
  • Car harness (if you intend to take your dog in the car)
  • Shampoo
  • Flea and worm treatment
  • Poo bags

Cat Checklist

  • Food Bowl
  • Water bowl
  • Cat litter and  tray (for indoor cats)
  • Bedding
  • Leash
  • Collar
  • ID Tags
  • Cat Food
  • Treats
  • Toys
  • Cat nail clippers
  • Plastic carrier (for transporting your pet)
  • Flea and worm treatment

Things to know before you buy

Before you purchase your new pet, the Australian Department of Commerce recommends that owners check with the seller that they have received the necessary treatments and veterinary examinations. If you are buying a puppy or kitten direct from the breeder, they also advise prospective owners to visit the animal in the place where it was born and look at the parents of the puppy or kitten as well, to make sure that the animals were all properly cared for in the right conditions.

You can find pets for sale in a variety of places, such as a pet store, animal shelter, breeder or private seller. In all cases you should ensure that they are registered or in the case of breeders, that they are a member of the applicable cat or dog organisation. They should all be able to provide the necessary documentation in regards to the animal's health.

Things to be prepared for

Opening up your home and heart to pets involves more than just financial consideration. Before buying one, it's a good idea to consider whether you have the time and the inclination to fit a pet into your lifestyle. Cats and dogs require continuous care throughout their life, which for the typical pet is around 12 years. To take good care of them during this time, you need to determine whether you have the time and funds required to do so.
Pet insurance can help in making sure that you give your pet the care they deserve. With a pet insurance policy, you can claim up to 85% of your eligible vet bills up to a maximum benefit of $14,000 per year, depending on the policy.

There are a variety of pet insurance plans available, so you may find it helpful to go online and do a pet insurance comparison before you decide on a particular provider or product.

Once you bring your new bundle of joy home, the adjustment period for your pet may throw some curveballs your way. Be prepared for accidents to occur if your pet isn't house-trained yet, and allow some time for your cat or dog to get used to the structure of your lifestyle and their new surroundings.  You should be ready to spend some time training your pet.  If you buy a dog there are a number of dog training schools around to help you teach your dog some basic social skills and help them establish some rules and boundaries.
This is general information and does not take account of your financial situation.


 

These articles are provided as reference material to allow more informed decision making, but are not intended as being a complete source of information on any topic. All readers should make their own independent analysis on the topic to make sure they have considered the aspects that are important to them.