For a lot of people, a family isn't complete if it's missing one important element: a family pet. Bringing a pet into your home can be one of the best things for your family. After all, pets offer love and companionship, they help kids learn responsibility, and they can keep you all active with their near constant levels of energy. Of course, it's important to remember that not every pet is going to perfect for every kind of home or every kind of family. In the same way that all families are different, so are all pets. With that in mind, here are some things to consider when deciding if a pet is right for your family.

How old are your kids?Kids and pets are a wonderful combination. Just watching the love and friendship that develops between them is one of the most wonderfully adorable things in the world. However, it's important that one thing pets and kids have in common is that they don't always know when to stop doing something. You need to make sure that your kids are old enough to understand how to take care of, and be responsible with, their pets. Otherwise, there's a chance that they could end up stressing out the pets and even getting hurt themselves.

How much space do you have?
Even if your pet is small, you would be surprised at how quickly they end up taking up a whole lot of space in your home. From dog beds to fish tanks to litter trays, pets come with a lot of stuff. Not only that but if you're in a small space and they're constantly under your feet, that can be incredibly stressful. The last thing you want is to spend all of your time tripping over your pet when you're just trying to get things done around the house.

What kind of pet is it?
Different kinds of pets require different kinds of care. Cats, for instance, are much better when left on their own than dogs. Which might mean that, if you're the kind of person who works all hours of the day, then that might be a better option for you. Even among dogs, there are different breeds that have different needs. Check out to see how you can find out the breed of your dog and better understand them because of it. Knowing what the needs of different kinds of pets are is going to be a great way to help you better understand which ones are right for your family.

Now, this list isn't trying to discourage you from getting a pet if you want one. Instead, it's just trying to help you better understand what you want and need out of a pet. If you bring an animal into your home without really thinking about it properly, then you run the risk of things going wrong and that can make life a whole lot harder for everyone than it otherwise needs to be.