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. 

Which pet is right for me and my lifestyle?

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, how much time you have to spend with the pet especially time at home.
The PDSA Right Pet tool can help you find a pet which suits you and your circumstances. If you live in rented accommodation you may want to check the Dogs Trust website letswithpet.org.uk which can help you check if your landlord allows pets.

How much does it cost to keep a pet?

Once you have chosen which pet is right for you consider the costs involved in keeping a pet including food, vaccinations, medications and veterinary bills when your pet falls ill. Costs depend on the animal you choose and there is a wealth of UK based advice online to give you a rough idea of the amounts involved. Other costs can include grooming, bedding, training classes and kennelling while you’re away. One-off costs include neutering and microchipping.

Blue Cross has a guide for finding the right pet for your home.

Dog with owner in waiting room

Buying a puppy

The Puppy Contract has been developed by RSPCA and 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.

What to do if you find a stray cat or dog

Pets can become strays if they are lost or abandoned, or if they are stolen. Strays are often hungry, frightened and sometimes sick and injured. The guidance for what to do if you find a stray is different depending on where you live in the UK.