Dogs are great. Those loving little eyes, soft ears, and floppy feet make dogs basically irresistible to love. However, everything has its downside, and dog ownership is no different. When you’re deciding whether or not you’re ready to own a dog, you should weigh the pros and cons and decide if you’re ready. A pup may seem like the perfect, loving addition to your family, but dog ownership has its difficult parts as well.
This is the fun part. Dogs are great, and they offer so many positives to the lives they touch. In fact, the pros are so great that they often greatly outweigh the cons.
- Companionship: Dogs are more than wagging tails and wet kisses, they are also amazing companions. They offer friendship, helps us from feeling lonely, and can be a sidekick for any adventure. Dogs are full of love and devotion, and there’s nothing that compares to the love you’ll have with a dog.
- Protection: Dogs help people feel safe. Even if you have a small pup as your companion, they are still able to alert you if there is something off. Granted, you may have to train this behavior into your dog as not all of them come with this perk. Still, not being alone can feel safer, and dogs can provide their owners with that sense of security.
- Health Benefits: Feeling better with a dog is not all in your head. Dogs offer many health benefits to their owners. They can help with getting exercise and lower blood pressure. They also offer mental health benefits and can help your immune system.
Everything has its downsides. Having a dog is so rewarding, but it’s not all walks to the park and playing catch. Dogs are a lot of work, require a lot of your attention, and can cause their owners some heartache.
- Training Difficulties: Some dogs can enter your home fully trained and ready to be your loving companion. However, that’s not always the case. You may run into potty training problems, obsessive chewing, barking, digging, or escaping. If you get a dog, you have to be ready to train them — not to mention dealing with the destruction until they are trained.
- Things Can Go Wrong: The worst thing that can happen isn’t just pee on the carpet or a shoe that is chewed up. You’ll have to know what to do if your dog bites someone, how to be aware of signs of this type of aggression, and ways to prevent it. Your dog might get hit by a car, it might have special needs or may develop an illness that is expensive to treat. They might have a troubled past causing them to be fearful or aggressive. You may have to make the decision to put them down at some point. These are the hard parts of dog ownership, and you need to be aware that they can happen.
- Lifestyle Changes: Getting a pup means that your life might have to change a bit. Long vacations now need to include bringing your dog, boarding them, or getting a puppy sitter. If you’ve spent all day away from them, you might not be able to make quick plans after work anymore so your pup isn’t home alone for too long. Be sure you’re ready for the lifestyle changes that may need to happen.
Are You Ready For Your New Pup?
You have the pros, you have the cons, and now it’s time to decide if you’re ready.
- Providing a Forever Home: It’s important to ask yourself if you’re ready because if you adopt a dog, you need to commit to forever with them. Even if they pee, chew, are hard to train, have health issues, or require a lot of time, you have to commit to working with them. Even if you move or you have a baby, you have to commit to forever for your dog. If you can’t, you’re not ready.
- A New Addition to the Family: It’s not just about you; it’s about the whole family. Be sure your whole family is ready for dog ownership before committing to a new fuzzy family member.
- Dog Ownership Alternatives: Not being ready for a pup is totally fine. In fact, it’s a lot more responsible to realize that than to realize it after adopting. If you’re not ready, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a pup in your life at all. Ask friends or family members with a dog if you can take them for a weekend, or even just for a few hours to play. Volunteer at your local shelter, foster, or make money by pet sitting in your neighborhood.
Dogs aren’t all cuddles, there are plenty of difficulties that you should consider as well. If you’re ready for the hard parts, you might want to consider plunging into the amazing world of dog ownership. If you’re not, that’s totally OK too. There are plenty of ways to get some puppy love in your life without owning a dog or until you’re ready.