Adopting a dog is one of the most exciting and rewarding decisions you get to make! However, there are many things you need to consider before adopting a puppy or dog from a shelter to ensure you and your new best friend have the best life together.


Is adopting a dog free?

You may be wondering why there is a fee to adopt a dog that has been abandoned, injured, neglected or sick? When we find animals in our shelters like RPSCA Victoria, they are doing all that they can to ensure the animal has a second chance at life and find a fur-ever home with their new family. Your furry friend will come fully vet-checked, desexed, microchipped and vaccinated which all incurs a cost. However, caring for each animal usually far exceeds the amount of the adoption fee. Generally, the adoption fee can cost between $400 to $1200.

 man hugging dog in park 

How much does it cost to own a dog?

After the initial cost of adoption, you will need to take into consideration the ongoing costs and unexpected costs that may arise when adopting a puppy or dog. Did you know that the average cost to own a dog in Australia is about $3,500 per year! Here‘s what you can expect to pay: 

  • Adoption Fees
  • Council Registration Fees
  • Puppy School
  • Food & Treats
  • Toys & Accessories
  • Veterinary Health & Vaccinations
  • Pet Insurance

Choosing the right dog breed

Choosing the right breed for you and your family is as important as deciding whether to get a dog in the first place. All dogs have varying temperaments, different appearances, and personalities as well as their own set of needs. It is essential to look at your future dog’s needs as well as your own. Below are some factors you need to keep in mind:


It’s important to find a dog that fits your family and lifestyle when considering the right size dog. It wouldn’t be recommended to choose a larger breed dog if you are living in an apartment/townhouse with a little yard. If you have little ones running around, ensure they are comfortable with the size of the dog you are considering also.

Physical & Mental Exercise

Dogs are incredibly smart, and they need not only daily physical exercise but mental stimulation and enrichment as well. Giving your dog a good balance of physical and cognitive workouts like adding Freeze Dried Raw Treats into a Barkolino Snuffle Feeding Mat burns off excess energy, provides entertainment, and prevents problem behaviour.

Our Freeze Dried Raw Treats come in Lamb or Salmon and are perfect for rewarding your pup’s best tricks. They are bite-sized, dried raw, natural, and healthy providing you with confidence that you are giving the best to your new dog or puppy.

Dog enrichment ideas: feed your dog their dog food in a puzzle or scatter it around your garden to encourage them to think, smell and hunt!


Should you adopt a puppy or dog?

There’s no denying it, puppies are CUTE! Their wide, innocent eyes and little wagging tail could melt anyone’s heart. But are you fully committed to looking after a puppy? Puppies can be mischievous, defiant, and destructive. They require commitment and time. You will need to work on toilet training and obedience which can take time and patience.

Another option is to adopt an older dog that may already be toilet trained or is comfortable around children and/or other pets. Although rescuing an adult dog can be a deeply rewarding experience, some older dogs in shelters may have gone through all kinds of terrible experiences and may have behavioural issues because of this.

 border collie puppies

How to adopt a dog?

How do you find and adopt the perfect dog for you and your family? Well, the RSPCA has many different types and breeds of puppies and dogs available for adoption with a large variety of personalities, sizes, and colours. Regularly check with your local RSPCA and their adoption website at where you can submit an online application. The RSPCA will be in contact within 48 hours to book an adoption meet and greet with you and your new best friend!


Being a dedicated dog owner often involves asking the right questions, seeking the right advice, and, most importantly, checking in with your pup to make sure that it's healthy and happy. We are in line with you on this, so if you have questions, you may head to our FAQs page for more answers to dog treat-related queries or send us a message, and I would love to chat with you. More than anything, it is my priority to keep you informed and empowered.

Adoptapet | RSPCA Australia
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June 01, 2022 — Sarah Mayberry