Whether you are single, married, with or without kids buying a dog is something you can consider. Why not? They love us, protect us, share our company. We love our dogs. A dog can live from 10 to 20 years, and the last 1 or 2 years may end up costing as much as all the other years put together. Dogs have toys, leashes, training, and special diets. You buy organic dog cookies or colored rawhide. Best of all, you can find the perfect dog for you.

The first thing to consider is why you want the dog. This may seem intuitive, but it's not always. Too many people run out and buy a dalmatian based on how cute they look in a movie. Dalmatians are nice, but they need a yard, a daily run, and often have skin problems. They are not the best dogs with children. Some dogs like golden retrievers might do well with kids, but afford little protection, being so overly friendly, even with burglars. A dog like an Airedale splits the difference between being very intelligent and protective, yet perfectly willing to turn into a couch potato with you, if you just like to watch TV.

One thing to consider in the cost is if you can afford to take the animal to the groomer with regularity. If you can't, there are certainly plenty of breeds that do not require regular visits, but they may shed. It's good to know if you are willing to spend the time it takes to brush a dog daily. These days you can easily research purebreeds on the internet for temperament to find a dog that will fit into your lifestyle. If you find yourself falling in love with a particular breed, you can often find a purebreed cheaper from a rescue group, than the going rate. The average mutt though, has fewer health issues, is easy to fine, as may be in dire need of a home. Even though you may not know much about a mutt you can assume the larger dogs do not live as long.

You may think your kids are going to care for the animal, but they probably won't. Who ever feeds the dog the most regularly is who the dog will bond with the most. So if that's you, pick a breed you like. Also, don't feel compelled to get a puppy just because they are so darn cute. If you don't have time, patience or inclination to train the pup, you will be stuck with an ill mannered dog! Plenty of house broken older dogs are available.

Purebreed or mutt its really important to feel the dog has picked you. When I went to the pound to get my dog, the first dog I met was nice but very very energetic. Knowing that I did not want to spend an hour jogging everyday with him I asked to see the next dog. The next dog was sweet, but very elderly. I was sure I didn't want to commit to the possible vet bills, so I asked to see the next dog. The next dog seemed disinterested in me. The last dog was my Mango. She came and put her head on my knees, gazed up at me with her liquid brown eyes, as if to say "Let's go home now!" She was very quiet. Despite being a grown dog and a two time pound turn in, she preferred me above all other people, even after I got sick and had other people feed her.

There's something magical about the perfect dog. The perfect dog for you is out there!