Dogs are cute, and man, do they love to greet you like you’re a rock star every single day! But hang on, there’s a lot to think about before you bring one home.
Sure, there are tons of great reasons to shout “heck yes” to getting a dog. But sometimes, it’s better to say “nope” or “maybe later” before you dive into doggy parenthood. Here are eight clues you might not be set for a furry friend just yet.
1.Not Ready for Long-term Commitment?
When you decide to get a dog, you’re in it for the long haul. Think about it: where will you be in 15 years? Will your life be much different? And the big question: are you up for having your pup with you every step of the way?
2.Got a Crazy Calendar?
Always at work? Often out late? As Abbey Weimann, a big shot at Ames Animal Shelter, puts it, “Dogs need time, and they’re not fans of being solo for 8-hour stretches.” So, if you’re getting a dog, be ready for stuff like doggy daycare or zipping home during lunch.
3.Not Just Pocket Change
Even if you snag a free pup from next door, it’s gonna cost you. Mick McAuliffe, a pro at Animal Rescue League of Iowa, backs this up. Weimann adds, “Dogs will set you back $100 to $200 every month. If your wallet’s tight, maybe think twice.”
4.Jetsetter? Think Twice!
If you’re always on the move, either for work or fun, and dogs aren’t welcome, you’ll need a plan. Sure, there are great dog-sitters and boarding places, but it’s never quite like being home with you for your fur buddy.
5.Moving Around a Lot?
If you’re always on the move or think you’ll shift places a bunch in the coming years (like starting college, aiming for grad school far away, or grabbing a fresh job), now might not be doggo-time. Weimann mentions, ” It’s hard to find pet-friendly housing, and that’s one of the most common reasons people surrender their pets to us.”
6.Big Stuff Happening Soon?
Seeing some big shifts up ahead? Maybe a new baby, moving town, or tying the knot? Hold up. Getting a dog? That’s a massive change on its own. Maybe wait till things settle a smidge.
7.Kiddo Begging for a Dog?
Kids might be all-in for a dog, but are you or the whole fam really set for it? Those cute furballs? They can be messy (uh-oh, bathroom accidents and bye-bye teddy bear). And dogs? Total early birds. Pups don’t always snooze all night. And dogs, old or young, gotta move around. Weismann puts it like this: “ Dogs require lots of exercise, and at minimum need to be taken out to potty multiple times a day. If you don’t have a fenced-in yard that allows you to just open the back door to let the dog out, there’s a very real commitment to exercise that the owner must adhere to as well.”
8.What If Something Goes Down?
McAuliffe throws out a question, “If things go sideways for you, who’s got your pup’s back?” Like, if you hurt your foot, who’s taking Rex for a walk? Even tiny hiccups, like a switch in work hours or being stuck in traffic, mean you need a backup for your furry buddy. Make sure there’s someone reliable around if stuff gets wild.
McAuliffe’s tip? Jot down the good and the not-so-good about getting a dog. She says, “ Generally dog ownership is about being responsible and providing the care and time the dog needs. You want to be sure you can provide your dog with everything he needs.” But if you’re not quite there, no sweat. Weismann gets it. Loving dogs but not ready to adopt? There’s still hope! “ Shelters desperately need volunteers, and it’s a great way to get the doggy fix without the commitment,” she adds.