So, you are wondering about adding four to the total leg count in the home, right? Well, first of all – you’re blessed. A lot of people never prepare for having a pet but… There’s always a ‘but’. A pet is a huge responsibility that will require a lot of sacrifice from you. It’s quite similar to having a child or someone to take care of which means responsibility, changes of priority and being available 24/7. On the other hand, there are some benefits which make all of this worth it. So, should you get a dog? Let’s compare the pros and cons for brining a pet in your life.
Let us start with the good and nice things.
- You will be getting a friend for life. This is by far the most important thing for all people. When they think about getting a dog, they don’t think about the care and effort needed. People are looking for someone to be alongside them, to play with them and to entertain them. And a dog offers that – 100%.
- You will learn responsibility. Life is all about learning new things and getting more experience. And getting a new pet will undoubtably teach you a lot of things. At the forefront of these is responsibility. If you’re planning to be a parent or if you want to become more independent from your parents, getting a dog is a great way to give you a taste of what it’s like to be responsible. It can be a very good thing.
- You will have a less likely chance to be depressed. Did you know that people who live with a dog have at least a 17% smaller chance to get sick with depression? It’s also evident that being with a dog helps to ease the pain and symptoms of psychological trauma. The so-called therapy dogs help a person relax and trust his/her environment more. Whilst you likely won’t be getting a therapy dog, having someone who is excited 24/7 around you, can definitely transfer that positive energy onto you.
- You can give someone a home. There are millions of strays, lost and homeless dogs around the world. All of them deserve a home and you can give it to them.
- They guard you and your property. Dogs were primarily domesticated to protect livestock, hunt or help organise daily life for people. While most dogs aren’t trained to be hunters nowadays, they are still very efficient guards who will protect their owners (so-called parents) and their properties. A guard dog is the best burglar alarm.
- You can start a business. If your dog is cute and you see that people are excited to see them do something, you can start their own Instagram page. Otherwise, you can become a breeder and help bring more joy into the homes of other people. However, business must come 2nd. Don’t make a living thing into property. Try to make it work whilst giving your dogs a great home and living environment. There are some discussions about these businesses, but if you do it ethically and responsibly, it’s really something nice for the rest of us.
And there are a lot more benefits, but these are the ones that we’ve decided to feature as the most important and noteworthy pros.
However, no list is completed without the negative aspects or the cons of living with a pet. Here they are.
- Say good-bye to late-nights. If you’re a party person or if you like late-night out at bars or go clubbing, this goes out the window. Even though some breeds are relatively independent and don’t require too much attentiveness during the day, you mustn’t leave them for very long, especially during the night.
- Training and grooming can be hard. Yes, this is probably the factor that scares most people away. Making the dog behave and stopping him or her from peeing indoors, chewing on your shoes or doing things a certain way might be difficult. However, there are dog trainers as well as guides on how to train dogs so you can teach them quite quickly and without going over too much trouble. Grooming is also not too hard nowadays. You can get a trimmer, a small dog nail grinder (or one with replaceable tips for a large dog), special dog shampoos and you’re good to go. Almost. Set aside enough time to complete these tasks.
- You might not get along at the beginning. This only becomes apparent after you have lived with your dog for a month or so. They might have an attitude. They might show instances of destructive or aggressive behaviour that you cannot curb. However, it’s all about being persistent, persuasive and patient. Don’t resort to shows of force or irritation as that won’t do any good. But yes, early days with your dog can be frustrating. So, you need to find a way to get over them.
- Cleaning after them. Picking up, cleaning, wiping, bathing and just general clean up amounts to a lot of hours of work over the years.
- Some things just won’t change. They will always bark at other dogs, sniff their behinds, do zoomies, beg for treats, hump your leg or try and hump other dogs, chase their tail, chase birds and do all sorts of similarly goofy stuff. It’s actually fun and you don’t need to be afraid of it. The only thing that you should be concerned of is if you take on a young female dog and thinks become heated with another male dog. You could end up with a breed of puppies that you don’t want. Try and protect them.
- You might be allergic. Although there are some breeds which are, fortunately, hypoallergenic, you should get a test to know whether you are allergic to pups or not. If you are, then getting one is definitely not recommended.
It’s always worth the risk and the hard work that’s needed to take care of and to raise a dog. If you don’t need to make a complete change of your lifestyle and if you’re not allergic to dogs, we say go for it. Don’t hesitate and dwindle on the risks. The rewards are much sweeter than any of the cons are bitter.