Choosing a pet

Getting a new pet can be very exciting but it’s important to choose a pet that suits you. There are a number of key things to think about before making a decision, luckily there are lots of resources out there to help you make the best decision for you and your future pet.

Which pet is right for me and my lifestyle?

All pet owners have a legal responsibility to help protect the welfare of animals. This includes considering key factors such as:

  • the need for a suitable environment (place to live)

  • the need for a suitable diet

  • the need to exhibit normal behaviour patterns

  • the need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable)

  • the need to be protected from pain, injury, suffering, and disease

To live a happy life together one of the most important decisions you can make is choosing the right pet for your lifestyle. You may want to consider which pet would best suit the place you live and how much time you have to spend with the pet, especially time at home.

Buying a puppy

The Puppy Contract has been developed by RSPCA and the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) to empower puppy buyers and help them to avoid the problems that can arise from buying a puppy from an irresponsible breeder. It can be used for all puppies, whether they are pedigree or not, and by any breeder or seller, including rescue centres. 

Vist the Puppy Contract website

#BreedToBreathe campaign

We campaigning to raise awareness of the issues brachycephalic animals face as a result of their breeding. We're working to get the message out to dog owners to think about choosing a healthier breed or crossbreed instead of prioritising appearance over welfare.

Animal Welfare #BreedToBreathe

Breed to breathe campaign

Canine Health Schemes

If you are considering buying a puppy, its important to be aware that all pedigree and crossbred dogs could suffer from inherited diseases which are passed on from parents to their puppies. BVA and the Kennel Club Canine Health Schemes work to provide a number of health screening programmes for dogs.

Canine Health Schemes

The Puppy Contract

You can use The Puppy Contract, developed by the Animal Welfare Foundation and the RSPCA, to help you ask all the right questions, including questions about health testing, when buying a puppy

The Puppy Contract