So you have made the decision that you want to become a dog owner. The first step then is to decide what type of dog you would like and more importantly what type of dog fits best with your living arrangements and lifestyle.
There are three routes you can go down in selecting a dog: pedigree, cross-breed or mongrel. Next you need to look carefully at the amount of food exercise, grooming and healthcare a dog needs depending on its size, shape and temperament. The questions that you need to ask yourself include the following: do you work so the dog will need to spend long periods alone, do you have young children, how much access to exercise space do you have, how much can you budget for the feeding, care and purchase of the dog?
Let us not forget also that all of those things aside, a dog can prove an expensive pet and you need to consider whether you can afford ongoing vets bills, not only for the routine visits for vaccinations, neutering and general healthcare but also if your dog should suffer from a disease, whether minor or major, or should have an accident. It might be worth considering health insurance for your pet to cover all such eventualities, but again this is an ongoing cost so think carefully, as a dog will hopefully be with you for anything up to 14 years, possibly longer.
Once you have reached a decision about the type of dog you would like then you can start looking around for a recognized breeder of purebred puppies if you would like a particular pedigree or you can visit animal shelters and adopt a puppy or an older dog who has not been so lucky in life. However, in taking on an older dog you must be aware that it may have behavioral problems that have been learned in its previous home or through mistreatment. These are often problems that can be overcome but you must go in with your eyes open.
So you have made your selection and you now have a future companion who will bring much joy into your life. The next step is to take him home and start the process of settling him into his new life.