Are you ready for a dog?

Most dog lovers dream of life with that perfect dog – games of fetch in the backyard, long walks in the countryside or along the foreshore, lazy afternoons snuggled together on the couch… Life with a dog can be all of that and more.

Many first-time pet owners admit that they decided to get a dog on impulse, without really thinking things through. After all, there is nothing more appealing than a cute, wiggly puppy – their playful antics could keep you entertained for hours. Who wouldn’t want to take one home?

Puppies are adorable, but they require a lot of time and care as they grow to ensure that they become that well-mannered companion you have dreamt about. They need a home that provides them with structure and routine, feeding and exercise, training and grooming, and where they can be part of the family.

Rather than simply selecting a dog based on its looks, you need to spend time researching the breeds that best fit your lifestyle and then find yourself a reputable breeder who aims to produce happiest and healthiest pups they can.

You can find information on every breed in our Breed Directory, and if you are not sure which breed might be best for you, you can Take the Quiz and get matched with breeds that will best suit your lifestyle.

Making sure you are prepared for the realities and responsibilities of dog ownership, and that you have the time, space and money to properly care for a pet will set you off on a path towards that magical companion. 


So are you ready to add a dog to your family?

Before you look to buying a puppy, ask yourself the following questions……

Am I ready for a long term commitment?

The average lifespan for most dogs is 10-15 years.  You need to be prepared to provide care, exercise, training and spend time with your dog every day – can you do that?

Do I have the time for a dog?

If life is already hectic, you need to ask yourself if you will have time to meet the needs of a dog.  All dogs need exercise, care and attention every day. Energetic breeds may need additional mental stimulation and exercise to keep them happy. 

Puppies are super cute, but like very young children, they need increased supervision and training as they learn and grow. Can you happily fit this into your schedule? 

Do I have the space and facilities?

Whether you live in suburbia, in a unit or apartment, or in a rural area, you will need a safe and secure area for your dog. The type of property you have will influence the breeds that might be suitable – if you have a small apartment, a large or giant breed might not be an appropriate choice. If you live in a built-up city area, a high-energy working breed might not be right for you.

If you are renting, you need to make sure that you are aware of the rules relating to dogs in rental properties. If you are living at home with your family, are they happy for you to have a dog? Having everything planned and ready allows you and your dog able to enjoy life together.

Can I afford to care for a dog properly?

Purchasing a puppy is only a small part of the costs of having a pet. Throughout your pet's life, there will be costs for feed, bedding, collars and leads, preventative health care treatments, yearly council registration, training classes and grooming. 

Then there are the costs associated with veterinary care – both for regular check-ups and for any illnesses or accidents that might occur. Many owners now chose to take out pet insurance to help cover unexpected veterinary costs – can you afford the premiums? 

Being prepared for the financial costs can take the stress out of ownership and allows you to better enjoy all the positive benefits of dog ownership.

Do I have the time and patience for a puppy?

Puppies are delightful, but like young children, they need a lot of your time and supervision. Do you have the time throughout the day to train and educate your puppy? Are you prepared for the toileting mistakes, the chewing, and the poop? Are you prepared to take your puppy to classes and to socialise it properly? If not, you might be better to look into getting an older dog instead of a puppy or waiting until your life is a little less busy. 

Do I have other pets at home?

If you already have pets, you will need to consider how adding a new puppy or dog to the family may impact your other pets.  Will they be happy?  Whilst you need to spend lots of time with your new puppy, will you still be able to ensure your existing pets get all the exercise and attention they need?

If you already have other pets, you also need to be aware of your Local Council’s allowed number of pets.  Will adding a new puppy mean that you exceed your permitted numbers?  Will adding a new family member mean you have to apply for an excess animal permit? 

Do I have children?

Many parents have an idyllic image of children growing up with a dog romping happily around the backyard together.  The reality is that children need to be supervised around pets to ensure that both the children and the pet stay safe.  Do you have the time to supervise properly? Are you prepared to coach both your children and your new pet on how they should behave?

Although children can (and should) be involved in the routine care of the pet, are you ready for when the novelty wears off?

Many of us have strong emotional memories of our own childhoods growing up with a family dog, however times have changed, and society's expectations are now different.

Maybe now is not the time.

Although it might be disappointing to admit, sometimes you are just not quite ready to provide everything that a dog needs.  Maybe your lifestyle is a bit too busy, you are away from home a lot, or you realise that your current home may not provide the right space for a pet. That’s OK! 

It is much better to wait until your circumstances have changed, and you are better able to provide everything that a dog will need, rather than rushing in on impulse. 

I’m ready….now what?        

If you think you are ready for a dog, the next step is to find your perfect match – a breed of dog that suits your lifestyle.

To learn more about how you can find this visit our What breed best suits me page.

If you already have a breed in mind, you can learn more about the breed by visiting our Breed Directory.

We have information on what you should be looking for in a breeder on our Finding a Reputable Breeder page, along with the questions you should be asking your Breeder before you commit to purchasing a puppy.  You can also read about health testing and how breeders should be working towards preventing breed-specific health issues.