Ready for a new cat or dog?
Things to consider before you commit
Owning a pet is a long-term commitment with the average life span of cats and dogs being around 12 years. Some dogs and cats can even live until 15 or even 20 years of age. Check this guide to see if you're as prepared as you need to be and ask yourself: Am I willing to care for this pet for the duration of its life.
I have the means to financially support and care for this pet
Responsible pet owners will microchip, vaccinate and desex animals. This comes at a cost. Additionally, you will need to think about ongoing costs like food, toys, bedding, worming, annual health checks, vet bills and much more.
The cost of pet ownership will vary depending on the type of pet you choose. In 2015, the NZ Companion Animal Council estimated that caring for a dog costs around $1,686 NZD a year, this does not include any emergency vet care.
Nichol’s Pet Centre recommends pet insurance, and all our puppies and kittens come with a complimentary insurance trial to get you started.
I am experienced and/or have researched how to care for this pet
As a pet owner it is your responsibility to know how to properly care for your animal. Before deciding to buy or adopt we suggest you do lots of research, talk to other pet owners and spend time with their pets.
I have time to care for this pet
Exercise, grooming, obedience and play are important aspects of pet ownership. Some pets will demand more of your time than others. Puppies and kittens are a huge time investment – you will need to ensure that they settle into your house comfortably, are house trained, learn obedience, and are fed, walked, and taken to the vet when necessary.
Adult animals are no less work. You will need to set aside time to exercise, groom, and play with your pet for its entire lifetime.
My home is suitable for a pet
Carefully consider the kind of accommodation you will be able to provide for your pet. Your home and garden size are significant factors in determining your suitability as a pet owner.
At a minimum, you will be asked to provide photos and documents prior to your pet purchase, proving the following:
- Entrance to the property from the road
- Is it secure?
- Is there a separate entrance for people uncomfortable with dogs?
- Is there enough space for the particular type of dog or cat?
- If you currently have other dogs, we’ll require proof that their registration is up-to-date
- In the absence of total boundary fencing, a portion of the section must be fenced sufficiently to confine the dog yet allow the dog to have an adequate exercise area.
- Adequate housing of sufficient size consistent to meet the needs of the dogs shall be provided, with access to clean water.
- Random property inspections are carried out by the Nichol’s Pet Centre and SPCA teams. By signing this form, you consent to a property inspection at a time to be arranged.
If you live in a rented property think carefully before committing yourself to a pet. While some landlords allow pets, many do not, and this may limit your housing options in future. Landlord and home-owner checks will be carried out before any pet purchase.
I am willing to adjust my lifestyle to accommodate my pet
Working hours, a busy social life and taking regular trips away are all factors you need to consider before adopting a pet.
Companion animals like dogs and cats thrive on human company and will always depend on you – you must be sure that your lifestyle will accommodate them.
All other household members support the addition of this pet
Pet ownership affects the whole family, so everyone – including other existing pets - needs to be on board with this decision. Consider:
- Allergies or other human health conditions / disabilities affecting the ability to care for the dog
- Have your children spent time with dogs or cats? Jumping up, biting and growling are normal behaviours in puppies and kittens – children should expect this.
- Animals can be destructive. Are you prepared for furniture, home and garden damage?
- Have you got other pets at home? Carefully consider how they would handle a new addition to their domain.
- Pets are a huge time and energy commitment for the whole family. Is everyone prepared?
- Consider your neighbours and their existing pets. How will they react to the additional noise and disruption?
- Animals are unpredictable – there is no guarantee on behaviour, temperament and appearance characteristics of any pet. Unconditional love is unconditional!
- Nichol’s Pet Centre will not support the idea of buying a pet as a surprise gift. It must be a considered, planned and well thought out decision involving the whole family