Pets

Five pet adoption tips from Dr. Chris Brown

Looking to add a fluffy member to your family? Here's what TV's number one vet has to say.

By Alex Lilly
If you've been thinking about adding a four-legged friend to your family but don't know where to start, look no further!
Pet owners are more likely to have stronger immune systems, be fitter and have better mental health, so there are plenty of benefits. But having a furry friend is also a big responsibility as pets need a lot of attention and love.
We had a chat with the original Bondi Vet Dr Chris Brown about the top things to consider before bringing a pet into your life.
Too much cuteness in one photo!

Adopt, don't shop

That little puppy or kitten may look cute in the pet shop window, but if you are serious about adding an animal to your family, think about adopting one from a shelter. And with around 10,000 pets in Australia in need of a home, you have options.
Many people think that because an animal is in a rescue shelter, they're damaged, but that's not the case.
"Most of these pets have been given up just due to changes in their human's circumstances – nothing to do with the pet's temperament. In fact, both my dog and cat have beautifully rounded and giving personalities due to their time as shelter animals," says Dr Chris.
"I know puppies and kittens are very cute, but there are plenty of older (and already trained!) pets in shelters that would be a great 'first pet' for families who are looking," he adds.

Questions to ask yourself before getting a pet

Dr Chris says finding the perfect pet is just like finding the perfect partner.
"There's being ready and then there's thinking you're ready. You want this relationship to go the distance as well so make sure you're very honest about what you can truly bring to the relationship," he says.
With that in mind, ask yourself these questions before rushing to your nearest animal rescue centre.
1. Do you work long hours?
If you're constantly at the office or work unpredictable hours, getting a pet probably isn't the best decision. They need to be fed, walked and taken care of and that won't happen if you're never at home, especially if you have a hyperactive puppy on your hands.
2. Are you constantly away for work?
One of the greatest welcomes you'll ever receive is a dog running to your feet after a long day, but if you're constantly travelling, you should reconsider getting a pet.
Don't forget the old ones too!
3. Are you financially comfortable enough for a pet?
Food, vet bills, toys, it all adds up! Make sure a pet is within your budget, or you may struggle later down the track.
4. Are you allowed to have a pet where you live?
The last thing anyone wants is an angry landlord. Also if you have a tiny apartment and have a big dog that needs lots of space and exercise, it's not fair on them either. Learn more about this process by clicking here. or by visiting the Mars Petcare site.
5. Do you have any other pets?
If you already own pets and it's going well, adding one more isn't always a great option. When a sibling is involved, animals can fight too so make sure any potential new pet is the right addition.
They say finding the perfect pet is like finding the perfect partner, so could Dr Chris Brown be the next Bachelor?
WATCH: Dr Chris address those Bachie rumours.