By: Tatum Stafford

Adopting a pet is a great act of kindness. There are thousands of homeless animals that are looking for their new forever home, and by rescuing an animal you're not only enriching your life - you'll be saving theirs.

Perth is home to a variety of pet adoption agencies and shelters for you to find your new best friend - including RSPCA, SAFE, The Dogs' Refuge Home, The Cat Haven, PetRescue and many more.

However, it's important to do your research before committing to a rescued pet. Here are our top tips.

1. Consider the costs

The cost of adoption depends on the type of animal you're adopting, the breed and their age. Adoption fees typically include de-sexing, a general physical examination, initial vaccinations and microchipping.

Pets also have a variety of general costs that you will also need to consider before adopting. Make sure you budget for food, training, toys, activities, grooming, veterinary care and other supplies prior to picking our a pet.


2. Pet-proof your home

In most cases, you won't know much about your adopted pet's history. A rescued pet's environment within a shelter is often quite different from a home environment - and as such, you will need to take some time to prepare for their arrival to ensure the transition from shelter to home is as smooth as possible.

Before your pet's arrival, check your house and garden for any potential hazards that could harm them, and seal any possible escape routes near fences and gates to avoid break outs. Also decide where the pet will or will not be allowed, where they will sleep and where they will eat. Moving is stressful for any pet - so providing your rescue with as much structure as possible will help them settle and readjust with comfort.

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3. Buy supplies

Before you bring an adopted pet home, it is essential to make sure you are prepared with all supplies your pet may require. For a dog - a leash, collar, ID tag, bowls, food, treats, toys and grooming supplies are great starter items for your soon-to-be-welcomed pooch.

Required supplies for other pets will vary, so be sure to do your research to ensure you are prepared to welcome them once they've been adopted.


4. Schedule a vet visit

Don't trust your adopted pet's health just by its appearance. For newly adopted pets, a thorough wellness exam is necessary to ensure your pet is as healthy as possible - particularly before they are brought home or introduced to other pets.

Additionally, vaccines for kittens and puppies are given in a series, so keeping your pet up to date with their vaccinations is extremely important within the first few months of adoption.

Ready to adopt?

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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.