If you’ve got children in your house, you’ve no doubt heard the familiar sing-song question, “Can we please get a puppy?” And if you’re like most parents you probably replied with a firm, “Well who do you think is going to take care of that puppy?” It’s a fair question that’s definitely worth unpacking.

After all, pet ownership is a huge responsibility and parents who get stuck caring for the pets their children so desperately wanted are understandably upset and disappointed. To avoid this all too familiar situation, here are a few things you should definitely consider before getting a dog.

The biggest consideration for potential pup owners is where the animal will relieve itself. If you’ve got a large yard, fencing off a small portion of it to use as a dog run and training the dog to use it exclusively shouldn’t be too tough.

Apartment and condominium dwellers had better be prepared to take their dogs on several walks a day so that they can do their business outside. We urge people in this situation to think long and hard before bringing a dog into their live because these walks must be done every day, no matter what the weather is like outside.

Another key aspect to dog ownership is what exactly you’ll be feeding the animal. That steady supply of dog treats and dry food doesn’t come cheap, even if you’re buying in bulk. New pet owners need to carefully consider what type of food they’ll be giving their pets. Bargain brand dog food won’t seem like much of a bargain if it winds up regurgitated on your carpet.

If you’re willing to shell out big bucks on your pet’s daily diet, there’s a growing market of all-natural dog treats and food that’s a lot easier on puppy’s tummy than traditional brands like Purina.

The last big expense you’ll need to consider when deciding on a pet is its medical care. Veterinary care does not come cheap and it’s definitely not optional. Pet owners can sometimes find values at big box pet shops like PetSmart that offer medical insurance plans for pet. We also recommend shopping around for a value priced vet in your neighborhood before ever bringing a pooch home.

Owning a puppy, and having your children help care for it, can be an extremely rewarding experience, so long as everyone knows what they’re getting into.