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Choosing a Dog - Should I Get a Dog?

It's a question many people ask themselves but perhaps don't fully consider before taking a leap of faith and introducing a new member in to their family.

While emotional questions such as 'what do I want my dog to look like' and 'what kind of things can I do with my dog' are important, a rational approach is also required.

Asking yourself a few questions and writing down the answers will help you decide whether you're ready to become a pet parent.

10 questions to help you decide if you should get a dog:

Ask Yourself Possible Responses to get you Thinking

How active is my lifestyle?

  • I rarely go out
  • I love to travel and am rarely at home
  • I enjoy a balance between being at home and out and about with my family and friends

How much time will I have each day to spend with my dog?

  • Before and after work only
  • Various times of the day only
  • All day, every day

How much money do I have for food, vet care, training and supplies?

  • Up to $10 per week
  • Up to $30 per week
  • Up to $60 per week
  • Up to $100 per week

What kind of home do I live in?

  • House with large backyard
  • House with small backyard
  • Apartment

Are my fences strong / high enough?

  • Low / no fences
  • My fence needs replacing
  • Strong, high fences

Does anyone in my family suffer from allergies?

  • Yes
  • No

How much time do I want to spend grooming my dog?

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Never

Will I be willing to attend obedience and / or agility classes?

  • Yes, weekly
  • Yes, when I have time
  • No, not interested

How much space do I have for a dog?

  • Where will he sleep?
  • Do I have room for him to travel in my car?

Who will care for my dog if I go on holidays?

  • My family member or friend, in their home
  • My family member or friend, in my home
  • I'll pay for a pet carer to visit my home each day
  • I'll pay for my buddy to stay in a kennel

Choosing from different dog breeds

It's a wise idea to consider the traits of different breeds and how these traits will fit in to your lifestyle before setting your heart on a particular type of dog.

Popular breeds by size

Small: 1 - 10kg

  • Jack Russel Terrier
  • West Highland Terrier
  • Maltese Terrier
  • Pug

Medium: 11 - 25kg

  • Staffordshire Terrier
  • Border Collie
  • Beagle
  • Golden Retriever

Large: 26 - 44kg

  • German Shepherd 
  • Rottweiler
  • Alaskan Malamute

Giant: 45kg >

  • Saint Bernard
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Great Dane

Visit your local PETstock store to chat about the pro's and con's of different breeds, depending on your situation.

Choosing young dogs and senior dogs

If you've asked yourself all of these questions and decided on a breed that will suit your family, another consideration is whether you'll be happier with a young pup or an older dog.

The fun and cuteness factors of bringing a puppy home can sometimes overshadow just how much work a youngster can be.

In addition to their breed traits and how they will fit within your lifestyle, you'll also need to be prepared for the duties of teaching your dog basic commands and manners, toilet training and puppy-proofing your home.

I think I'm ready to own a dog

If you think you're ready to own a dog, consider choosing a rescue dog. Adopting is a great way to find a dog suited to your family and lifestyle, because you'll get to chat with someone who knows their personality and background. Adopting offers many rewards for new pet parents and can save a life!

Adopt Today

Join the family!