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When you decide to adopt a pet or get one from a reputable breeder, what you're really doing is opening your home to another family member. You know there's room for a pet in your heart, but how about in your home? 

Outdoor Space: Do you have a yard? If your new dog needs to go out, where will you take it? Are there local dog parks or dog runs you can take advantage of? Also, if you live in a condo or apartment with a balcony, be sure to have safeguards in place to prevent a curious pet from getting hurt.

For Renters: Many landlords frown upon their tenants having pets. If you're lucky enough to be able to have one, find out if there is a special deposit or an extra fee per month. But apartment leases don't last forever—if you have to move, will you be able to take the pet with you?

For Homeowners: If you've got a fenced-in yard on a lot of land, you should be all set! But if you live in a condo or townhome, ask your association if there are certain restrictions on breeds, the number of pets you can have and the size of the pets you can have. Rules can vary greatly from place to place.

How Protective Are You?: What kind of things do you have in your house? Is your style comfy-cozy or do you prefer to have "museum rooms"—spaces that are off-limits to pretty much everyone? New puppies have been known to teethe on couch legs, and cute kittens may use your favorite chair as their own personal scratching posts. Think about whether there will be any space that will be off-limits to your pet and how you would be able to teach it boundaries you're both comfortable with.

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