1. Choose a type of pet or the breed which is compatible with your lifestyle.
2. Your pet is totally dependent on you for food, water and shelter.
3. Make sure you feed your pet at regular times with a diet suitable for its age and species.
4. Fresh, clean water should be available at all times. Make sure the water container cannot be accidentally tipped over.
5. Provide shelter from rain, the cold in Winter and the heat in Summer.
6. Make sure your pet receives any vaccinations required for protection against contagious diseases.
7. Regularly worm your pet.
8. If you do not intend to breed from your dog or cat have it desexed.
9. If you do decide to breed from your pet, be prepared to keep the offspring until you can find responsible homes for them.
10. Do not let your pet be tormented by fleas — during flea season use an appropriate flea control product.
11. Groom your pet on a regular basis to keep it free from mats and tangles. Even shorthaired pets enjoy a brushing.
12. If you suspect your pet may be unwell seek immediate veterinary advice.
13. Comply with all local government regulations for keeping pets.
14. Ensure that your dog is securely confined on your own property.
15. For your cat’s safety make sure it is indoors after dark.
16. Carry a ‘pooper-scooper’ bag to clean up after your dog when out walking.
17. Do not allow your dog to bark unnecessarily.
18. Make sure your dog and cat wear identification tags at all times, or are microchipped.
19. Teach your pet dog manners. Enroll in your local dog training classes.
20. Provide your pet with appropriate exercise.
Read more from Petcare Information and Advisory Service Australia