A dog represents an immense investment of time and money. It’s important you learn the right way to purchase a puppy to ensure you are ready for this lifetime commitment. Here are the specific steps you need to take when buying a puppy.

1. Choose a breed – Not all breeds will fit your lifestyle. It’s important you take your needs and abilities into account when selecting a dog breed.

2. Selecting a breeder – To minimize future problems, buy your dog from a reputable breeder. Poorly bred dogs can be an emotional and financial drain, particularly if you are not prepared for them.

3. Choose the right puppy – Dogs within the same breed often have different personalities, just like humans. To ensure a harmonious match, you need to put some thought into the type of puppy that best fits your personality.

It’s critical that you follow these steps in this exact order. Why? Because you may fall victim to purchasing a puppy on impulse, and that is a recipe for disaster. Many owners fall in love with the cuteness of puppies and get one from their local pet store or a friend not realizing the amount of work it takes to raise a dog. After a few weeks, the cuteness becomes less adorable and the frustration or expense of caring for the dog overwhelms the person. Before you know it, the dog ends up in a shelter through no fault of its own.

To avoid such a tragic turn of events, do a careful and thorough evaluation of yourself and your lifestyle. Research different breeds to find one that fits in with your life, choose a reputable breeder, and spend time with the puppies until you are confident you’ve found one that suits your temperament and living conditions. While working these steps doesn’t guarantee a perfect relationship, you are more likely to find a pet you’ll enjoy caring for.