1. Do you have room in your budget? "There's no such thing as a free lunch." That economist's adage extends to canines: There's no such thing as a free dog. Trust me. This may sound cold, but it's quite caring to first assess whether you have the expendable income that dog ownership requires. The cost of food, routine vet bills and basic gear adds up quickly, and that doesn't even take into account medical emergencies, fences, training, possible boarding and dental care. Dental care? Yes, and it's quite expensive, since sedation is involved. I don't even want to tell you about anal glands, but you should know they exist and, depending on the dog, require regular attention.