Many people prefer the company of a pet but many people are not aware of or fail to think of everything involved with pet ownership. There are many things to consider before choosing to introduce a pet into your life.Many people think that the first thing to consider with pet ownership is what type of pet to choose. The first question is actually – do you rent or own your residence? If you own then you may move on to the next question. If you rent, however, there are some important considerations.If you are renting then run it past the landlord/property manager for approval. Failure to seek approval ahead of time could lead to termination of your rental contract later. Here some things to discuss with the landlord:• What type of pet can you get? Some species of pets are not acceptable.• What size pet is acceptable? Some places do not allow large dogs.• How many pets are allowed? There is usually a limit on the number of pets allowed, regardless of size or species.• Is there a pet deposit and/or rent surcharge? In most cases an extra security deposit is required, which may not be refundable. In some cases the monthly rental rate itself may be increased due to a pet surcharge.Whether you rent or own the next thing to consider is what type of pet can you afford. Ask yourself how much you can afford in both time and money.Let’s talk about money here. The cost of a pet is broken up into start up costs and maintenance costs. The cost to acquire the pet is not included in the start up costs. What is included are things like initial medical expenses (spay/neuter, vaccination shots, etc.), training, litter box, aquarium and so on. The first year of ownership, which includes initial (start up) and maintenance costs, is as follows:• Large Dog: $1800 or more• Medium Dog: $1500 or more• Small Dog: $1400 or more• Cat: $1025 or more• Small mammal: $330 or more• Small Bird: $260 or more• Fish: $225 or moreIn terms of food alone the annual estimates are listed below:• Large Dog: $250 or more• Medium Dog: $135 or more• Small Dog: $70 or more• Cat: $130 or more• Small mammal: $65 or more• Small Bird: $90 or more• Fish: $35 or moreNote: The annual maintenance cost of a small dog is less than that for a cat.Maintenance costs are lower but a responsible pet owner understands that maintenance costs consist of not just pet food but also ongoing health care. Your best friend’s pet care can be costly. There can also be grooming expenses, toys, litter, snacks or even health insurance premiums. Other considerations are that animals grow out of cages, cages break, leashes wear out, scratching posts need replacement, aquarium equipment breaks down, and so on.Some people like all animals but most of us have our preferences. No matter how much you prefer one over another or even how badly you want to bring a pet into your life you need to consider your budget. Cheap pets might be the way to go but whatever pet you decide to get, keep in mind that shopping around matters. A pet store is good for some products but not the cheapest place for all products.In summary, pet ownership is not a decision to be made lightly. If you are ready to take on the extra responsibility then let it start with doing your research, checking your budget, and really thinking about how much you can afford. Your pet and you will be better off for it later.