I don’t believe that you can own a dog. I believe that you bring a dog into your family and that you are responsible to act as that dog’s guardian for his or her entire life. I can’t imagine my life without a dog, but I’m also not going to pretend that guardianship is all rainbows and butterflies either because it’s not. Like anything else that’s worthwhile in life, there will be challenges and setbacks that you will need to overcome.
I think that many people aren’t prepared for the commitment, dedication, and expense that comes with dog guardianship. I think that people need to enter into the experience well-informed and understand how much their lives will change. I implore you not to select a dog just because he or she is “cute” because temperament, exercise requirements, and breed traits are far more important considerations (plus, all dogs are cute, right?).
Below I have compiled a list of the pros and cons of having a dog in your life. Please add to my list in the comments.
- Sometimes, they ruin your stuff. However, if you buy them appropriate toys as outlets for their energy, then they are a lot less likely to turn their attention to your shoes. B’s favourite toys, which he hasn’t been able to destroy, are:
- Kong (classic, bone, genius, and ball)
- JW Pet Company (rings, darwin, and ball). I shared a picture of B and JP playing with rings from JW Pet Company in the past and they are still going strong!
- West Paw (ball, tux, and bone)
- Bionic (floating bone and treat dispenser)
- Picking up poop kind of sucks.
- Sometimes, they bark at nothing despite your reassurances that it’s nothing (which is hilarious).
- They require diligent training (but its fun and allows you to bond!) because no one wants to be around a poorly behaved animal. Just because a dog is small doesn’t make their rude behaviour cute or endearing. Bad manners are never appealing in humans or dogs.
- Travel plans are more complicated as you either need a reliable pet sitter or pet friendly accommodations (I prefer the latter).
- Sometimes, they make the house pretty dirty (spring time is the worst. Hello, mud!). But hey, kids and husbands make the house dirty, too.
- Dogs make it tough to sleep in (but you will be more productive because you will wake up early!).
- Vet care can be expensive.
- Sometimes, they demand your undivided attention even if you are actually busy doing something else. B has been known to knock my laptop off my lap because he wants to sit with me.
- When they get sick (or you lose them), it’s absolutely devastating.
- Dog cuddles are the best EVER.
- They offer unconditional love and loyalty.
- You will be forced into physical activity regardless of the weather. People often complain about this element of having a dog, but I have some breaking news: physical activity is good for you!
- You will get stress relief from simply being around your dog.
- They provide relentless comfort when you’re sad. B will lick my face until I laugh!
- Dogs are a constant source of happiness and amusement with their crazy and endearing antics.
- They teach you life lessons. For real! Like living in the moment, forgiveness, patience, and getting joy out of the simple things in life.
- Dogs protect you and would lay down their lives for you.
- You will always be greeted by the welcome home doggy dance.
- Dogs are constant companions who will follow you everywhere and demand to be a part of your life. They are great little buddies who are always up for an adventure.
I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time?
Disclosure: if you buy any of these products from me, or do any of your amazon.com shopping through my store, my sweet boxer, B, will get some treat money. He thanks you in advance for supporting his cookie addiction and I thank you for supporting my blog.