Thinking of welcoming a cute pup into your home? Read on for a little prep.
Fun Stuff | By Trixie Reyna on August 17, 2023
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Is it just me or are your social media feeds full of videos and photos of cute, funny, and amazing dogs, too? Have you seen those where dogs do some really smart things? Maybe you adore a certain breed of dog because they’re just so cute. (I’m partial to Shih Tzus because we have one.) Whatever the case is, you might have considered dog ownership at some point in your life because you just see them all over the internet and perhaps your neighborhood or even shopping malls. Maybe you’ve even taken this interest a step further by visiting a local shelter at some point to see if you’re able to personally connect with a dog.

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Whatever your reasons are for getting a dog, you can’t underestimate the challenges that come with it. After all, dogs are living creatures with emotions, so you can’t just treat them like random objects that you own. This is, unfortunately, an attitude that a lot of people take on when they’re around their dogs. They treat them like possessions and they don’t give them enough love and attention. It results in an awful experience for the dog, and they end up feeling abandoned, or worse, being abused by their owners.

However, this is an uncommon extreme. Most dog owners that get bored of their dog will usually (hopefully!) send them off to a shelter. While it’s still not a great feeling to abandon a dog, at least they’re giving someone else the chance at dog ownership. But this does display one of the important things about dog ownership that people don’t talk about: yes, it’s normal for someone to get “bored” of their dog, especially if they adopt them without really thinking about the long-term consequences. Getting bored of an animal isn’t something you really think about before adopting a dog, but it’s a real future reality you have to consider.

That said, I thought of sharing with you some tough things that people don’t usually talk about when it comes to having a pet dog—which I wish someone also told me when we first got our dog.

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Source: Pauline Loroy (Unsplash, CC0)

Dogs will make a mess, so it’s more chores for you and your family

We really can’t overlook the fact that dogs are messy creatures that demand a lot of our time. You’ll have to take them out for walks on a regular basis so they can do their business, and then you’ll have to clean up after them. You need to bathe them regularly, and they might become extremely uncooperative when they’re around water. If you’re training a puppy, then expect to see them pee in the house or even leave some poop in the garden or sidewalk.

These are just things you’ll have to get used to as a dog owner. You could even think of it like raising another baby. (A friend who’s a fellow fur parent even told me and my husband when we first got our Shih Tzu that it’s great practice before we finally had a baby.) A lot of people can’t really get used to cleaning up after their dogs, but it is an important part of dog ownership that you shouldn’t overlook.

Dogs can restrict what you’re able to do during your free time

Dogs are demanding and will require your attention for most of the day. This is already a lot of responsibility and time taken up by your dog, but remember that dogs will restrict your time in other ways too.

For instance, imagine if you want to go on a long vacation abroad, what are you going to do with your dog? You could leave your dog with a dog sitter or a family friend, but that’s going to require some arranging and you might find yourself stuck with no options. We personally don’t like leaving our dog in “dog hotels” because we worry about him catching fleas, among other pests and diseases there. What if you want to go out with your friends after work on a Friday night? Nope, you probably have to go home early because your dog misses you and they probably haven’t gone out to poop yet.

These are the sort of things you need to think about when you have a dog at home waiting for you. You can’t just do things on a whim because they need you at home. This isn’t so much the case if you live with roommates or have family to take care of your dog, but it still means that someone will have to be the designated dog sitter so everyone else can go out or do their own thing.

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Source: Justin Veenema, Unsplash (CC0)

Getting the feeling that you’ve picked the wrong dog

Dog ownership isn’t always love at first sight. Sometimes you might realize that your dog isn’t the kind of breed that is suited for you. Perhaps it’s far too active and it’s giving you a hard time, or maybe you’re feeling a little regretful because you chose a breed that wasn’t your first choice in terms of looks and attitude.

It’s important to do some research before you decide to choose a dog breed. Websites like LuckyLabs are a great source of information on certain dog breeds and can give you some options for choosing the right dog for your home or family. You could also check out pet shelters to get an idea what dogs are available and learn more about each one.

Keep in mind that while breeds don’t always determine the personality of a dog, it’s a good idea to think about the health issues a breed might face. Some breeds tend to have a higher chance of certain diseases or conditions, so it’s good to be prepared. For example, bulldogs tend to suffer from a variety of health issues due to the genetic manipulation involved in the breed’s history. As a result, if you choose a bulldog, then you should expect a lot of work and veterinarian bills.

Whether it’s cleaning after your dog, coping with their health issues, or just tiring yourself out from playing with them, pets can be a lot of work. It’s important to think about these challenges before you decide to become a dog owner. And if you have your own kids, having a dog or more is a great way to teach kids about empathy and respect. Think carefully about the responsibilities of owning a dog and listen to people who have more experience than you.

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