Are You Ready To Commit To A Dog?

Monday, September 24, 2018
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Last weekend while at the pet store to pick up some prescription cat food, there was an adoption event happening. If you are an animal lover (or have kids), you know that these are dangerous places to happen upon. I always want to take home at least two or three cats. But last week, I was pulled in the direction of the dogs. The puppies were so cute! At that moment, I could just imagine one bouncing all over the house.

There are all sorts of questions to ask yourself before letting a dog into your life. While the benefits of a family pooch are plain to see, it's also a huge commitment. If you get a puppy, you may be looking at full-time dog ownership for upwards of fifteen years. I've heard that dog ownership is a lot like having another baby. You wouldn’t embark on that kind of commitment without covering all your bases first, would you?

Even if you think you’re ready for the early morning (and cold) walks and vet bills, this commitment stretches deeper than you know. Though your dog may become a staple member of the family, most pup owners admit to regretting their choice at some stage. Dogs are binding commitments, after all, and they can tie you down a fair amount.

To make sure you don’t come to resent those ties, it’s crucial you consider the reality you’re taking on. Namely, you should think about the following ways that commitment could come back to bite you (no pun intended!).

Shorter Amounts of Time Away From the Home 
It isn’t fair to leave your dog alone for extended periods. Aside from the practicality of needing toilet breaks, dogs are social creatures. Six hours is the absolute maximum alone time you can stretch to. Even that should be on rare occasions. But, we don’t often think about how long we spend out of the house. If you leave at nine and don’t get back until six, you’re looking at a ten-hour absence. That wouldn’t be an option anymore. Instead, you'd need to either hire someone to come in mid-day to take the dog for a walk or have the option of taking your lunch break at home.

More Expensive Vacations 
Family vacation are costly enough. When you have a dog, it's very likely that you'll need to consider pet boarding costs. At the very least, you’d need to pay a friend to have them. This extra cost could see you taking fewer vacations, or having to shave days off your holiday to balance the expense.

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Less Spontaneity
We all love a little spontaneity, don’t we? It’s likely nothing excites your kids more than an off-the-cuff night away. And, it’s wonderful to wake up on a weekend and decide to head out for the day. But, these options won’t be available with a dog in your life. Instead, you’ll need to plan everything like this so that you can put precautions in place. Being swept up in the moment will fast become a thing of your past.

If you aren't ready to consider and take on any of the above, a dog clearly isn’t for you. But, if this sounds like option you’re willing to seriously consider, you may have the makings of a dog owner yet.

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