I am quite sure that your family has pleaded you to adopt a pet but you are having qualms especially if you have a baby at home. I also had that same problem years ago and I was glad that we did it. We may have issues regarding our family’s health and safety, I will not be tackling the scientific part of owning a pet though.
First of all, always consider your family members when selecting a pet. Though the adults are the primary caretaker, always give small responsibilities to the children as this will serve as life lessons to them. So, before going to the pound (I always believed in adopting not shopping for a dog) discuss the weight of the responsibility and commitment with your family. They are nice surprise gifts to the children but it is always better to have an expressed commitment from them, make sure that they do not lose focus after a week or so. These pets will be with the family for 5-10 years. That is 5-10 years of food, play, and love.
Ask yourselves necessary questions like: how much will a pet cost, everybody’s role in taking care of the pet, the medical issues the pet may encounter, how the pet will be cared for during family vacations, allergic reactions to the pet and so on. Do research on topics, you may know everything about pets because you had them when you were 10 years old but there are new discoveries each day and there are tips that you might not have encountered. Look for sites that could help you in grooming them like http://www.playsafedogs.com/best-vacuum-for-pet-hair/.It is better to adopt or buy puppies from private owners who have cared for their pets like a family rather than those in pet stores who get them from puppy mills. They might have issues because of poor breeding practice. Also check for the best food for them like looking into http://www.playsafedogs.com/best-dog-food-for-pitbulls/ or other sites discussing food.
A pet has made my kids more social and it also became a part of our family. They have helped solved many family crisis and made our relationship with each other better. Owning a pet has been the best decision so far. Just make sure that everyone is ready for it and the commitment will stay.