Owning a pet
For many Australians, a pet is part of the family, and we could not imagine our lives any other way. In fact, 63 per cent of the 7.5 million households in Australia own pets.
Research has shown that pet ownership has many physical, mental, emotional and social benefits. Pet owners are generally healthier and happier than non-pet owners. They have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, are less depressed, feel less lonely than non-pet owners and actually find it easier to get to know people.
The joy of having a pet isn’t new to most Australians. We have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. In fact, our pets are such positive influences on our lives that one study found Australian ownership of cats and dogs saved approximately $3.86 billion in health expenditure over one year.
Some animals are a 15-20 year commitment, and in many ways owning a pet is like caring for an infant.
We must bathe and groom them, feed them and treat ailments such as fleas, ticks, and worms. Their nails may need to be trimmed, their messes cleaned up, and any damage they may cause repaired. We must respond to their needs, take them to the veterinarian, and give them almost constant attention.
RSPCA recommends you take the time to research the species or breed you are purchasing well before bringing it home. This way you can be positive your choice of pet will be appropriate for your lifestyle and you will be thoroughly prepared for its arrival. Purchasing a pet should never be an impulsive decision.
RSPCA shelters receive thousands of unwanted and abandoned animals each year. These are often the result of an ill-considered decision. Before you make the decision to become a pet owner, read through the sections below. And remember: Don't shop. Adopt!
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Many landlords automatically reject prospective tenants with pets. Here’s how you can increase the odds in your favour.Learn More >
When your pet goes missing, it can be devastating. But there is plenty you can do to increase the chance of being reunited.Learn More >
Responsible pet owners desex their pet. They know that there are more kittens and puppies out there than there are homes.Learn More >
Before adopting your new furred or feathered friend, ensure you can afford to keep your pet happy and healthy.Learn More >
How you can help
Looking to adopt? Search now for dogs, cats and other pets available for rehoming at your local RSPCA shelter.
RSPCA has joined forces with Bendigo Bank and Visa to create an exciting range of credit cards that offer Australians a way to help animals in need.
Each year, over 40,000 animals turn to RSPCA NSW for help. Every donation from you is vital in rescuing and caring for them.