Is Your Family Ready for a Dog?
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Are you allowed to have a pet?
If you rent, be sure to check with your landlord about the pet policies in your building. You don't want to buy an adorable new puppy, only to find out he isn't allowed in your apartment! If you are allowed to have pets in your building, ask the landlord to put permission in writing for you, to avoid any headaches and unwanted stress down the road.
Also consider whether you might be moving at some point in the future. Do you want the hassle of trying to find a place that allows dogs? Are you willing to compromise in order to find a place that meets both your needs and your dog's? Remember, it's important to think long-term, since many dogs can live for at least a decade.
Next: Can you afford a dog?