What to know before welcoming a pet into your family

    Published 13 December 2021
    With shifts in flexible work and working from home options becoming a new normal in many workspaces, it has become more possible for many of us to consider pet ownership.

    Welcoming a new pet into your family can be a hugely rewarding and exciting experience. Our pets are a source of love, companionship and security and form an important part of our community. As pet ownership becomes more feasible for more of us, it is more important than ever to be aware of the responsibilities we have as pet owners. Owners should be well prepared before getting a new pet to ensure that they have the capacity to provide the love, attention and care required for a new pet. This will ultimately help ensure the health and wellbeing of their animal.

    What to think about when getting a new pet

    Cats and dogs can live to 15 to 20 years of age. Bringing a new pet into your home is a long-term commitment, so when thinking about what type of pet to get, it is important to assess your current situation and how pet will fit into your family life and lifestyle. For example, pets will differ in the amount of time required for grooming, exercise and training requirements will differ due to species, breed, age and individual animal factors. Factors such as the current (and future) family/living situation (e.g. number and age of any children), type of housing (e.g. house vs. apartment) and lifestyle factors should also be considered when deciding on an appropriate pet.

    Generally, larger dogs need more food than small dogs or cats and some breeds may need more comprehensive health monitoring than others. That’s why it’s important to include your financial situation into pre-planning for pet ownership.

    Owner responsibilities

    As a pet owner you are responsible for your pet’s needs for the entire life of the pet, including:

    • ensuring a proper diet
    • providing mental and physical enrichment
    • ensuring regular preventative health care and veterinary care when needed
    • ensuring appropriate exercise and housing
    • the owner is also required to register their pet with their local council and abide by local laws (e.g. ensuring they have a bag on them to pick up after their pet and only allowing their dog off lead in designated areas)


    Find out more about what to consider before welcoming a pet into your family and a list of shelters and rescue groups where dogs and cats can be adopted: Pet owner groups and vets - The City of Port Phillip.  

    Find out what what pet is suitable for your situation with online questionnaires, such as: www.selectadogbreed.com

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    This article is featured in the December edition of Divercity. Divercity brings you the latest City news, what's on, service updates and local exclusives, such as discounts and freebies.To keep up to date with news about your City and Council, sign up now.