Adopting a pet is fast becoming the preferred choice for many people when they decide to become pet owners. This social trend has been supported by a multitude of international celebrities all keen to promote their rescue pets. Technology has also contributed by enabling rescue organisations to create on-line search facilities, allowing prospective pet owners to browse for dogs and cats of a particular breed, age or sex.


My Golden Retriever, Riley, is a rescue dog. He’s a gorgeous purebred boy who unfortunately ended up cruelly treated and homeless. It’s a common misconception that rescue animals must be unwanted because there’s something wrong with them, however Riley’s a great example of the wonderful pets they can be. Becoming a pet owner is a big responsibility, so it requires some serious thought and, no matter where you find your new best friend, it’s vital you choose a pet that’s appropriate for your lifestyle. Continue reading to find out more about the benefits of adopting a pet and my tips for choosing the right one!

Adopting a pet will make you feel good

There’s something special about giving an animal the opportunity for a better life, it supports core values of being humane and compassionate.

Perfect Match

As well as evaluating every animal that’s available for adoption, a good shelter will also go to great lengths to match them with an appropriate home. It’s most important to only purchase a pet from a source where you are confident the pet will be friendly and healthy, and one that provides you with information to help you understand the care needs of the pet.

Adopting older pets

There are many benefits to rehoming an older dog or cat. You’re not starting from scratch with training and they’re likely to be less rowdy than a puppy or kitten. They should already be desexed, microchipped and vaccinated, so have fewer start-up costs. Most importantly what you see is what you get – a young animal’s behaviour may still be developing, whereas an older animal’s personality and behaviour should be evident.

Purebred Dog Rescue

Most purebred dog breeds have rescue groups devoted to sheltering, fostering and rehoming dogs of that particular breed. If you prefer a specific breed this option may be worth investigating.

Reasons pets are available for adoption

People often assume pets that are available for adoption must have some sort of problem, but there are many reasons why a pet may need a new home: their owner may be moving overseas, unable to care for the pet due to illness, moving to rental accommodation that doesn’t allow pets, or their circumstances may have changed and they are no longer able to afford to keep a pet.

Tips for choosing the right pet

You should take into account the type of residence and area you live in, whether you are permitted to keep a pet where you live, the amount of company you can provide, and the amount of exercise your pet will need. All pets cost something to keep so it’s important to think about the day to day costs as well as the unexpected costs that can come up if your pet gets sick. Consider how much grooming the pet will need and keep in mind non-shedding breeds generally require regular professional grooming. The age of people in your home is also important as some pets are not well suited to young children or elderly and frail people.

Written by Dr Katrina Warren