A pet can provide a lot of joy for their owner and family. It is important that new owners choose wisely when looking to add a pet to their family.
The Agriculture Victoria Choosing a Pet webpage provides valuable information to help anyone thinking of adding a pet to their family. The guide covers:
- Whether you are ready for the responsibility of a pet
- Find the right type of dog to help ensure dog-owner compatibility and that the pet is healthy and happy
- Find the right place to get their new pet by adopting from a shelter or through a responsible breeder
- Avoid buying from a puppy farm or other irresponsible breeder.
The guide also provides information on the steps to becoming a responsible pet owner and how to ensure new owners are taking home a healthy, happy and well-adjusted pet.
Choosing a Dog or Puppy
The Agriculture Victoria Dog webpage provides information to help anyone thinking of purchasing a dog or puppy. The guide covers:
- Legal requirements
- Animal welfare
- Dog training and behaviour
- Guard dogs
- Restricted breeds
Choosing a Cat or Kitten
Cats and dogs make great pets, but are not always the most practical or best option. Other pets may better suit your current lifestyle or situation.
A small pet such as a bird, fish or rabbit can be a great way to introduce young children to pets. Just remember that these pets often require just as much care and attention as a dog or cat to stay happy and healthy.
The Victoria State Government website has further information on:
Some animals are not suitable for life in the suburbs. The Whitehorse City Council Community Local Law 2014 ( PDF 280.06KB) regulates the type and number of animals you can keep on a single property. This protects the amenity of the area as well as looking after the welfare interests of animals that are unsuitable for a residential area.
What to look for in a responsible breeder
To work out whether you are getting a puppy or dog from a responsible breeder, you need to ask the following questions:
- Is the breeder meeting all legal requirements? Check on the Pet Exchange Register if the breeder / seller is registered as required
- Did the breeder plan ahead for this litter ensuring there were enough good homes for all the puppies?
- Does the breeder allow you visit the breeding place and meet the mother dog (and father too, if he’s around)?
- Are you impressed with the standard of care and living conditions for all the dogs?
- Is the breeder genuinely concerned about the welfare of their dogs, open to questions and able to provide a complete history of the puppy?
- Have the puppies been health checked by a veterinarian, vaccinated, microchipped, and treated for internal and external parasites like intestinal worms and fleas?
- Does the breeder make sure that you and the puppy will suit each other? Do they ask you questions to make sure you will be a responsible owner? Is your puppy bred to be a healthy pet, with a suitable temperament and free from known inherited diseases?
- Does the breeder offer to provide on-going support and information after purchase and do they provide a guarantee? Does the breeder talk to you about desexing, training, socialisation and local government registration requirements?
- Does the breeder provide references to back up what they have told you?