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Choosing a dog to fit your lifestyle

Bringing a dog into your life is an exciting time. Finding that special companion can be the beginning of a life-long relationship, so it’s important to give yourself the best start by considering what you can offer a dog and what kind of dog will be happiest fitting into your lifestyle.

To help you through this process, we've put together a handy guide covering what you should consider depending on your lifestyle and living situation. Download your free checklist today to start the conversation about your next lifetime companion.  

Families with children

For many people, a house is not a home without a family dog. Dogs are social animals and love to be with humans, and this often includes children. Keeping children and dogs safe together is a top priority, so the most important consideration is whether the dog you choose is comfortable around children. 

If you adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue organisation, the staff can advise you about the dog’s temperament and help you determine whether the dog is a good fit for a family with children. Another major consideration is whether to choose a puppy or an adult dog.

If your children have never had a dog before, you will need to teach them safe handling skills, which is easier with a dog who has already been trained. Adult dogs are generally calmer and have established personalities, so can be a better fit for young families. However, puppies allow you to build a strong bond with your dog during their early years and they make great options for young children. But most importantly, children must always be directly supervised around dogs.

Households with all adults working full-time

While almost all dogs thrive on human interaction, some breeds are naturally less active and calmer, which means they can occasionally be left alone if the adults in your household work full-time. However, you’ll need to make sure that you provide them with plenty of attention when you’re at home.

Some dogs may start to feel cramped if left alone indoors as they can run out of space or objects to interact with, so you may want to consider a less active breed instead. However, owning an active dog can be a great source of motivation to stay fit, especially if you’re finding it hard to exercise after work.

Living alone

If you live on your own, you are fully responsible for the care of your new dog, so you need to choose a dog who will fit into your lifestyle happily.

An affectionate dog can provide wonderful companionship and help you form social connections in your community.

Active lifestyle

If exercise is important to you and you like to spend time outdoors running or enjoying other activities, a fit, energetic dog would be a great companion. This will also allow you to meet other owners who tend to take their dogs on picnics, walking grounds, and training classes.

Quiet or relaxed living

If reading, watching TV and a gentle walk in the park is more your style, a smaller and possibly older dog, or a dog with lower energy levels, may be a good choice.

Retired or older owners

Older dog owners, particularly those who are no longer working full time, can be in an ideal position to care for a dog. Older dogs are a great option - they are past the puppy training stage and, with good care, you will hopefully have many years together.

Regardless of which dog you choose for your lifestyle, it’s worth protecting them in case they get sick or injured. With RSPCA Pet Insurance, you can claim a portion of eligible vet bills to ensure your dog always gets the best possible care. Request a quote today to find out more.

RSPCA Pet Insurance is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473, AFSL 241436, is distributed and promoted by Greenstone Financial Services Pty Ltd (GFS) ABN 53 128 692 884, AFSL 343079 and by its Authorised Representative (AR) RSPCA Australia ABN 99 668 654 249, AR 296287 and is arranged and administered through PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923, AFSL 420183. Any advice provided is general only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure this product meets your needs before purchasing. PDS and Target Market Determination available at rspcapetinsurance.org.au.