Did you know that March 23rd is National Puppy Day? This year marks the tenth anniversary of the event, which aims to educate the public on adoption and issues with puppy store and backyard breeders. If you do decide to buy a puppy from a purebred breeder, be sure to research beforehand to make sure the breeder is licensed and has a good reputation in the breeding community.

But there are millions of puppies in shelters right now waiting to go to their furever home, so why not just adopt instead? That is the main message the organizers of National Puppy Day wanted to show, and we encourage you to check out their official website to learn more about adoption. If you are considering adopting a puppy, we would also like you to consider the following to make sure now is the best time to bring a new puppy into your home:

Are You Allowed to Have a Pet? If you own a single family home, you probably have more options here. But many people rent, and leases may have specific rules in place regarding pet ownership. If you live with your parents, roommates, or siblings, you should consult with them as well as they will be affected by a new puppy living with them too. You may have to negotiate with your landlord or roommates to make it work for everyone involved.

Can You Afford to Own a Puppy? Owning a pet requires a significant financial commitment for fifteen years or even more. There is the adoption fee, but this is only the beginning. Your pup will need to go to the vet for shots, wellness visits, and when he or she gets sick. Your pup will need food, toys, and treats as well as potentially professional training and dog walking and grooming services. While there are ways to find savings online for dog supplies, you should budget beforehand to make sure you are able to afford the costs of puppy/dog ownership.

Do You Really Want a Puppy? Owning a puppy and later a dog requires more than just a financial commitment. It requires significant time and availability as well. Your pup will need to be walked several times a day, will need to be trained on basic good behavior, and will require house training unless you want to cover your home in plastic. Puppies are very cute, but they need your time, attention, and energy. For those who can provide these things, puppy ownership is truly wonderful, but make sure you can before you make a trip out to the shelter.