Top Five Tips for Future Pet Owners

It doesn’t matter what pet you have or how you came to be in possession of it there are some absolute must haves for any pet. Here we will briefly cover the top 5 most important to keep pets and their owners, to maintain a strong bond:


5. Time

There is no point having a pet if you don’t commit some time to spend with them. Particularly as juveniles, but generally throughout their lives, healthy pets require some time commitment on the part of the owner. It has been shown, scientifically, that people who exercise regularly with their pets are prettier, cleverer and more impressive! You may, however, want to rethink walking your pet snake as the general public may find this a bit intimidating.


4. Space

Hot tip – don’t get a giant breed dog if you live in a 10th level studio apartment. Try to think about what space your pet will need to exhibit most of its normal behaviour. If you live in a Newtown share-house, a budgie might suit you nicely. Living on a 3 acre block with a 4 bedroom house? A Labrador retriever or Staffordshire Bull terrier may find that quite pleasant. As a general rule big dogs need big space, but cats do very well in an apartment. Remember that you’ll need a relatively larger space for their bathroom visits, too!


3. Patience

If you’re lucky your pet will come trained and completely obedient. Toilet training? Done! Leash walking without tangling you up? Got it! Most pets, however, especially the young ones, like puppies and kittens, will need close guidance to learn new skills and peeing on your new carpet is a definite no-no. Ensure your temperament and time availability matches how much work you’ll need to do to get your pet ready for life in your household. If you work 60-hour weeks and live alone, you might want to rethink getting a puppy. My dog is 11 years old now and is happy to just lay around the house and get an occasional walk. When she was younger though, she would start destroying the house if she wasn’t walked (or run) twice daily. There are no perfectly trained pets that do not have owners that have spent some serious hours invested in training them to be this way.


2) Money

Some pets start out free – don’t cost you a cent. Inherit Aunt Julie’s poodle when she moves to the Philippines, and the meter starts running immediately. Most pets aren’t what you’d call ‘expensive’ but for pets to live happy, healthy lives, there are expenses associated with their ownership. Food, medical care, insurance, environmental enrichment, and if you’re like some owners, Halloween costumes, can all really add up. It can be good to squirrel a little away for a rainy day or pet medical emergency, as you never know when Fluffy might have a mis-adventure. Try not to skimp on pet food. Good nutrition is more economical in the long run because you’re more likely to have fewer vet visits and you may find their deposits in the garden less smelly and easier to pick up.


1. A Doctor

It is surprising how many people with pets don’t have a regular vet or take their pet for regular vet visits. Preventative care – check ups and vaccinations – can result in better maintenance for your pet and much longer lives for your treasured companions.

Pets improve our lives in ways we can’t even measure, so it’s up to us, their owners and guardians, to make sure that their lives are the best they can possibly be. A vet is an integral part of this formula.



Adapted from an article: Top Five Owner Must-Haves
Published July 10, 2017, on Vetz Insight
Written by Tony Johnson, DVM, DACVECC