Read what the SPCA — the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals — has to say about how to care for a pet.
 
Owning a pet is a lifetime of commitment (up to ten years or more if you own a dog or a cat) involving considerable responsibility. The decision to acquire one, therefore, should be made by the whole family. Without full agreement by
everyone, the pet could end up unwanted. Puppies and kittens are so adorable, it is easy to understand why adults
and children alike would be attracted to them. Unfortunately their cute looks are often a disadvantage, because people
purchase them without consideration and the knowledge on how to take proper care of them. The basic points you should
keep in mind before adopting a puppy are:

• an annual dog licence in accordance with government regulations
• its annual vaccination against major diseases
• toilet training
• regular grooming and bathing
• obedience training
• don’t forget you should feed your pet a balanced diet
• socialisation (many dogs are kept confined in cages or tied up to stop them from dirtying the garden or from chewing on shoes — this is wrong) is very important
• a daily dose of exercise, affection and play.
 
Reading up on the subject beforehand is another important requirement and will guide you towards being a responsible pet owner. Selected pet shops and major book stores provide books on the care of various breeds/pets.