A dog is a long-term relationship - and in a practical sense, it is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. So it’s worth considering your personality, home setup, work requirements and general lifestyle before choosing a dog.

So before the search for your new best friend begins, here are some things to consider how a dog may fit in with your lifestyle. 

1. Young or mature?

Whilst puppies are adorable, playful and have tons of personality, it’s important to remember that they require a lot more time, attention and patience than mature dogs. Training and socialising a puppy takes a lot of time and effort – so if you don’t have the capacity to devote this to them, consider seeking a dog of a different age.

If an older, more mature dog seems more your speed, make sure you’re fully aware of their condition of health before purchase. There are plenty of healthy and active older dogs in rescue shelters across the state looking for homes.

2. Active or calm?

Walking a dog is extremely important for its physical and mental well being. So if your lifestyle is not conducive to walking your dog at least once a day, perhaps consider a more low-maintenance type of pet. Some dog breeds such as Border Collies or Kelpies are extremely active by nature, and will require a lot of daily exercise. Other breeds such as Greyhounds or Cocker Spaniels will be very content with less exercise, like a leisurely walk once a day. Check out our tips on choosing the right dog breed for your lifestyle here.

Enjoying this article? Check out:

7 of Perth's best dog beaches »
How to care for your puppy while you're at work »
Top dog-friendly campgrounds in WA »

3. Small or big?

Naturally, larger dogs such as Great Danes or German Shepherds require a lot more space in and around the home for exercise. The endurance of larger dogs is great for those who love long walks, and can also make effective guard dogs for your property.

Smaller dog breeds such as Chihuahuas or Toy Poodles are more suited to smaller environments, including apartments, aged care centres or mobile homes. Caring for smaller dogs may also be cheaper than caring for larger dogs, as smaller breeds eat less and are lower maintenance for vet check-ups or minor operations.

4. Indoor or outdoor?

Most pets love to be where their owners are, which is usually inside. There has been a noticeable increase in ‘indoor’ dogs over the past few decades, and experts believe this is because pets are being considered as part of the family unit more and more. Having a pup inside may be great for your mood but caution will need to be taken to ensure your pooch is toilet trained and can be trusted to be left unattended whilst you aren’t at home.   

If you have a strong preference for keeping your animals outside, make sure your pet is compatible with this. If you’d prefer an ‘outside’ dog, you should ensure it gets plenty of exercise, always has access to shelter, and that it can’t escape from your property. 

Found your perfect dog and ready to bring them home?

Protect your new fur baby with our trusted pet insurance, covering up to 80%* of eligible vet bills. Plus, buy online and save $50** in the first year.

Get a quote

Last updated: December 2019

*Illness and injury cover – covers up to 80% of eligible vet bills up to $12,000 annually. Conditions, limits & exclusions apply. RAC Insurance Pty Limited is authorised by RACQ Insurance Limited (ABN 50 009 704 152, AFSL 233 082) as an agent to issue RAC Pet Insurance. This information does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Read the PDS and SPDS (where applicable) and TMD before making any decision. **Discount applies to the first year of insurance only.