Time to read: 4 mins

What questions should I ask before deciding which pet to get?

Owning a dog or cat is a long term commitment and there are many important questions to consider before you purchase or adopt a new pet.

Dog licking owner

    Buying a pedigree cat or dog

  • If you are considering buying a pedigree puppy or kitten you can check if the breeder is listed on relevant registers. Read our guide on pedigree cat insurance to explore any considerations
  • When purchasing from a breeder you should always ask to see the puppy or kitten with its mum and the rest of the litter in their home environment. The environment from which you get your puppy or kitten from and the care they have received will have a lasting effect on their health and behaviour.
  • It is really important to thoroughly research a breed so you can make an informed choice about what type of dog or cat will best suit your lifestyle. Some breeds are highly social, need lots of exercise and enjoy multi-pet or busy family households; others are more suited to a single pet, quiet household, requiring minimal exercise.
  • It is legal requirement for all puppies to be microchipped and recorded with a government compliant microchip database by the age of 8 weeks. It is the responsibility of the breeder to complete this registration before the puppy goes to its new home.

Multi-pet households

  • If you are unsure whether your dog will be happy with a new addition to the household, try borrowing a friend’s dog for a few days to see how your dog responds. Some dogs resent sharing their home, toys, and owner’s attention and much prefer being the only dog in the family. Take a look at our tips on socialising dogs in your household.
  • Cats are naturally solitary hunters and the majority prefer to live in a single cat household where they can establish their own territory. Some cats will adapt well to group living but careful consideration should be given, before bringing a new cat into the household. If you are adding an additional pet to your family then make sure take advantage of any multipet insurance discounts you can get.

Adopting a pet

  • There are always lots of dogs and cats, who through no fault of their own, are looking for a forever home. If you are considering taking on a rescue pet from a re-homing centre, bear in mind that most organisations will want to carry out a home check and will ask questions about your lifestyle. This is to ensure they match you up with the right dog or cat to suit your lifestyle and maximise the opportunity for successful adoption.

Remember to ask for as much information about your pet’s previous history as possible as this will help to ensure a smooth transition into their new home.

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