The kids have been nagging you all year. Your partner has been dropping hints for months. You’ve finally decided to take the plunge… You’re buying a furry friend for the family to love this Christmas.
But there are a few things to consider before you head out to purchase a pup or kitten from the nearest breeder. This is our all-purpose guide to ensuring that you’re making the best decisions for your family, and your future pet, this Christmas.
Is your household ready for a pet?
Sometimes it can be tempting to give in to the incessant pleading for a furbaby, especially if your kids are really pulling at your heartstrings. But it’s important to remember that pets are a long-term commitment, so you need to make sure you’re ready. Here are a few handy questions to ask yourself before committing to a pet-friendly lifestyle.
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg but will assist you in deciding whether now is the right time to welcome a furry friend into the family. Everyone wants to see their loved one’s faces light up when they discover a fuzzy bundle of joy come Christmas morning. But this happy memory can be quickly erased a few weeks down the track when you realise that having a pet was more responsibility than first anticipated. So weigh up the pros and cons, and be realistic about your final decision.
Where should you get your pet from?
One of the main deciding factors for future pet owners when considering where to buy their pet is breed. A lot of people have a clear idea of what breed of dog or cat they want, which is good if your family has specific requirements. This could be kids prone to allergies requiring dogs that shed less fur. Or perhaps you know that you want a less active pet, a small pet or a pet that’s happy to live in an apartment. But it’s always a good idea to go in with a little open-mindedness, especially if you’re considering adopting.
Adopting a pet
Giving an abandoned pet a new forever-home is an immensely heartwarming feeling. This is a great decision for future pet-owners who are open-minded about the type of breed they’re looking for. Many pet shelters will provide descriptions of the pets and any history that they know about them from their previous owners.
Adopted pets often require patient human parents, as some of these poor cats and dogs have been mistreated by previous owners. It’s important to inquire what vaccinations shelter pets already have, and really take into consideration their temperament and history before committing to taking them home. These poor little guys just want love and stability for Christmas so make sure you’re positive in your decision if you commit to taking a shelter pet home!
Buying from a breeder
Future pet-owners looking for a specific breed of dog or cat will often go to a breeder. But it’s important to do your research first as there are many unregistered breeders out there who don’t treat their mama and papa pets very well.
Always take what you see on Gumtree with a grain of salt and always, always go and meet the breeder before committing to purchase. Absolute transparency is essential when it comes to pet breeders. Don’t get us wrong; there are some amazing breeders out there who absolutely adore their dogs and cats (and treat them like royalty, too!). But unfortunately, there are also breeders who use puppy mills and try to trick you into believing that they care for their pets when they’re just out to get a quick buck.
When buying from a breeder, make sure that:
- They’re a registered breeder (in QLD, all dog breeders are required to be registered by law, but cat breeders aren’t. Rules change depending on the state you’re buying in. For more information see here).
- They are completely upfront about vaccination information and the puppy or kitten’s parental history (pets should be microchipped, vet checked and vaccinated).
- Their asking price isn’t dramatically lower than other breeders (this is an immediate red flag!).
- That you can go and meet the litter and the parents and see the conditions that the puppies or kittens live in.
- They have good reviews online if they have a website or business social media presence.
- They are part of an accredited breeders’ association (this will provide you with further peace of mind and ensure that the breeders treat their pets ethically. In many cases, breeder’s associations also have the endorsement of local vets).
How the PIAA can help you make the right decision
The Pet Industry Association Australia (PIAA) are Australia’s most trusted pet organisation. They know the ins and outs of pet ownership, and want to help you make the right decision. If you have any concerns or issues surrounding pet ownership, always feel free to contact them on (02) 9659 5811.
We know this is a lot of information to take in, but it’s all super important for a long, happy and healthy life with your new fur baby! For more tips on how to take care of your pet, head on over to our blog. And don’t forget that Samford Pet Resort will happily look after your pet when you go on a holiday or weekends away! As a five-star, award winning pet resort, we know how to treat your fur baby like the King or Queen that they are.