Things You'll Need
If you're considering becoming a pet owner, please consider its impact on you and your family. For example: some dog breeds are great around children, while others are almost always dangerously aggressive. Know the difference.
Do plenty of research on animals to choose the right fit. There are numerous articles on this site about the different breeds of dog and the characteristics of each. Use those articles to make the right choice for your particular situation.
Try to find your pet at an animal shelter or rescue facility. Too often people take the easy way and choose their pet from a pet store. Not good! Puppy mills usually provide the pet store puppies, and the pups are usually maltreated. Rescue shelters are a particularly good place to find your pet, as they have knowledge of the animal which will help you in choosing the right fit.
Love the animal and be sure to show it. Dogs are pack animals by nature. If you choose to own a single dog, please be sure to let your dog feel like part of the "pack"!
Train the pet with positive reinforcement. Buy a book or check eHow articles for recommended training regimes. Dogs should start their training at the time they're about 6 weeks old. You'll be amazed what a young pup can learn when trained properly.
Provide a safe and comfortable space for your pet. Animals need to feel they have their own space - a place where they feel safe. Many animals are quite territorial, so be careful extracting your pet from his space.
Exercise your pet. Remember, animals love to run. Not only because it's fun; it's a natural compulsion. If you keep your pet in the house, be sure to take him/her out for daily exercise. It's a physical as well as a psychological need.
Always use a collar and leash when walking your dog. Even if you have a well behaved, sociable dog, an unleashed pet is a catastrophe waiting to happen. For example, if another dog is running loose and decides to attack your dog...'nuff said.
Be sure to consider what medical care may be needed for your breed of dog, cat or other animal. Different dog breeds require care for different issues. Some have problem skin or allergy problems others might not have.
Have your pet spayed or neutered. There are already so many homeless pets in this world. Please don't contribute to the problem.
Be considerate of others in regard to your pet. If you have a pet who likes to bite, invest in some training to make the pet more social.
Be sure to pick up after your pet defecates, then throw the waste in an airtight disposal container for removal. Just carry a utensil to do the pickup and a plastic grocery bag for storage until you can dispose of the waste.