With many of us isolating at home, the idea of getting a family pet to provide comfort, happiness and joy might be crossing your mind right now.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, dogs and cats cannot contract the human coronavirus (Covid-19). While each species has their own coronavirus, people cannot get the pet version, and pets cannot contract the human version.

However, before deciding whether or not to get a pet, there are many factors to take into consideration. These include costs like vet bills and pet insurance. If you’re looking to get a dog you’ll need to decide on a breed and take into account their size, how much exercise they will need and you’ll need to consider where you live. For example, a small apartment with no yard won’t be suitable for a large dog.

You also need to remember that this time of uncertainty will pass and you may no longer be at home for long periods of the day to care for your pet.

Matty J and Laura Byrne with daughter, Marlie-Mae and their adorable three-legged dog, Buster.

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If you’re a family with young kids, you will need to feel it’s safe to have your newborn, toddler or primary-school aged child around your ‘fur baby’.

New research reveals one in four parents believe newborns are perfectly safe around cats or dogs, however large.

Abigail Koch, spokesperson at Comparethemarket.com.au, says:

“With the enormous benefits that pets can bring to our lives, such as improving self-esteem and enhancing social skills, it’s no wonder that so many Aussies are keen to own a four-legged family member.”

If you are looking at getting a dog for your family, make sure you fully understand which breeds are considered to be more at ease with children.

The RSPCA find that Boston Terriers, Bulldogs and Basset Hounds tend to be more child-friendly than some other breeds.

Abigail says the bond between a pet and a child is a special one to have during these formative years.

“When it comes to introducing a pet into the family home, parents are advised to teach their kids how to speak softly and move calmly to ensure their pet doesn’t become too overwhelmed. It’s also a good idea to try and involve children on dog walks and park visits, as regular pet activities can help build trust and comfort levels over time,” she says.

“The bond between a child and their pet is a wonderful part of growing up and something they will cherish into adulthood. If you’re considering bringing a puppy into your home, check out Comparethemarket.com.au’s latest list on the top 10 dog breeds Australians love the most. It may help when making those tough pet decisions!”

The bond between a child and their pet is a wonderful part of growing up and something they will cherish into adulthood.

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A survey by comparethemarket.com.au asked 1002 Australian parents what age is best to introduce a pet, here’s the results:

What age is best to introduce a pet?


A quarter of parents think it is safe to have a pet with a newborn baby and 28 per cent think it is safe to own a small family dog with a newborn. A quarter agree in the case of a medium-sized dog, while 24 per cent said having a large family dog wouldn’t be an issue. A quarter were also comfortable owning a cat with a newborn baby.

While it’s not recommended that young children are left unattended with pets, there are benefits to having a furry friend around the house with a newborn. A child who gains exposure to pets during infancy may develop a sturdier immune system and a lower chance of allergies.


More than a third of parents are comfortable bringing a pet into the family when a baby is younger than one. When it comes to canines, as long as it is small in size, 38 per cent of parents think it’s safe when the child is younger than one.

This compared with 35 per cent if it’s a medium-sized dog, and 31 per cent when it comes to large dogs.

Meanwhile, 36 per cent of parents think it’s safe for a cat to join the household when a baby is under one.

Pets can be more than just companions, they can provide a soothing presence and non-judgmental support for children too. This is particularly the case when animals are used as part of a treatment plan to help children develop communication skills, along with medical, developmental and emotional disorders



Nearly a third of parents believe children need to be older than five before having a pet in the house.

Forty-four per cent of parents think this in relation to introducing a large family dog, 31 per cent in relation to a medium-sized dog, and 22 per cent for a small dog.

On top of this, 21 per cent think children need to be five years of age or older to introduce a cat safely into the home.

Before you make a firm decision on whether to go ahead and get a pet be sure to consider all factors, It’s a big decision and one that’s not to be made lightly.