Deciding to bring a new pet into your home and into your life is a huge step and it’s critical to get it right. But with so many different breeds and crossbreeds available, it can often feel like a complicated and overwhelming task.

To help you find your perfect pet, we’ve put together our top 5 tips on how to make the right choice for you and your family.

  1. Activity level: Make sure you get a breed that suits your activity level and lifestyle, as some breeds require a lot of exercise daily, while others are less active. This can have a profound impact on your quality of life as well as theirs, so we have it as our #1 on the list.
  2. Space: How much space do you have at home? Will your pet be allowed indoors or strictly outside only? Some breeds will require more space than others to thrive.
  3. Bonding time: Like humans, some pets thrive on being with their pet parents constantly. But separation anxiety can lead to behavioural issues such as chewing on your furniture or barking excessively. Make sure your lifestyle either matches the needs of the breed or can be easily adapted to cater to their needs.
  4. Long-term decision: Make sure you are ready to commit to a pet for the long-term. The lifespan of a pet varies, with an average of 10-13 years for dogs, and 2-16 years for cats. So if you’re planning on taking a career break overseas or if your living arrangements may change in the future, you may want to re-think your timing for getting a pet.
  5. Speak to the experts: If you have a particular breed in mind, it’s worth a phone call or a visit to a breeder to understand the traits of the breed before purchasing. Ivory Coat has a list of breeders across the country and we would be happy to put you in touch with them. 

Alternatives to owning a pet

If you decide now is not the right time for a new pet, here are a few alternative ideas to give you some one-on-one time with pets.

  • Volunteer: Many rescue shelters and sanctuaries are looking for volunteers. It’s a great way to spend time with pets and to learn what kind of pet is right for you and your home.
  • Pet-minding: If your premises are pet-safe, consider signing up to become a pet minder. There are several online directories you can sign-up to and create an account. Plus, you get to make a little coin on the side.
  • Borrow cuddles: Visit your local dog park or pet-friendly cafe to get some play time in. Most pet owners are proud to show off their pet and will allow you to pat or cuddle them.