Have you been suckered by a pair of irresistible puppy dog eyes? Can't bear to part with the tiny kitten that fell asleep in your lap? It's hard to visit your local shelter and not want to take home a new pet, but making a spur-of-the-moment decision might not be the best idea for either of you.

When pets are good, they're very good. They're cute, cuddly and can provide you with a lifetime of fun. But when they're feeling mischievous, upset or simply board, get ready for a challenge. They can mark their territories on your new oriental rug, chew up your favorite pair of shoes and shred a chair's upholstery in a day's work.

The first question you have to ask yourself when thinking about getting a pet is the most important—why do you want a pet? If you're looking for a companion, you're in it for the right reasons. Here are a few more things to consider when trying to find the perfect pet for you.


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