Pets Take lead in pooch plan

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE - Maryanne Taouk

THE av­er­age dog owner spends more than $2000 a year on their pooch, and with dogs liv­ing up to 15 years their care is a longterm com­mit­ment.

The RSPCA has cre­ated an on­line puppy buy­ing guide to help peo­ple plan for a pet.

“If peo­ple are not pre­pared for their dog, they can have some real sur­prises,” RSPCA ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Kelly Wal­ton says.

“Buy­ing a puppy should not be on an im­pulse. You need to con­sider if you have the time for ex­er­cise, the fi­nan­cial means, and a safe and se­cure home.”

Wal­ton sug­gested do­ing re­search to find out what dog breed and age will be the best fit for your fam­ily.

“If you have your heart set on buy­ing a spe­cific breed of dog that’s not read­ily avail­able at the RSPCA or other an­i­mal shel­ters, you need to be very care­ful you’re not buy­ing into a puppy farm,” she says.

Sue and Vasco Bar­ros re­cently adopted eight-yearold Gus from the Dog­gie Res­cue shel­ter in In­gle­side.

They spent a year pre­par­ing for the ar­rival of the jack rus­sell-corgi cross.

“We needed to make sure we were ready for a dog in our apartment,” Sue says.

The cou­ple’s move to a smaller home and the death of their el­derly dog meant they didn’t want to jump into any de­ci­sions be­fore they were ready or able.

“The changes to our strata meant we had to check that we could even have a dog,” Sue says. “We didn’t want to get ex­cited about this new ad­di­tion and find out it wasn’t pos­si­ble.”

Once the dog was ap­proved, the cou­ple fenced off their gar­den and in­stalled a cov­ered shel­ter.

“We spoke with each other, with the dog shel­ter and did a lot of in­ter­net trawl­ing to find out what dog was suit­able for us,” Sue says.

“We de­cided on an older dog be­cause we wanted to give a dog a chance in their twi­light years. All our plan­ning paid off. Gus is a per­fect match for us.” Visit: rsp­ca­pup­pyguide.

Sue and Vasco Bar­ros with their new fam­ily mem­ber, Gus. Pic­ture: Adam Ward

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