Dogs, depending on the breed, live on average around 9-12 years and all need varying amounts of exercise. If a specific breed is important to you, you have to be sure that breed will suit you and you family. If you usually sit home and watch TV in the evenings and weekends, you won't want a Border Collie as they are extremely active.
It is best to make a list of the breeds that your family really likes, then do as much research as you can on each specific breed. This should include how large the dog will be when full-grown, how active it is, and what sort of medical problems are associated with each breed, along with any other information you can find out about each breed.
Choosing a cat is an important decision as you will be bringing a new member of the family home.
Although rabbits are a small animal, they require more care than many people realize.
A hamster or gerbil may seem like a good choice for you and your family, it is still a large responsibility and not one to be taken lightly.