During the pandemic, there was a huge surge in people buying and rescuing dogs because well, we were all at home 24/7 and could be with the dog at all times. It was during that time that I began to wonder if I should rescue or adopt another dog. Fortunately, my family has in total five dogs which means that whenever I return home I get all the dog love a person can possibly get. But every time that I return back to my apartment here in Dallas, I find myself missing my dogs tremendously and wanting to cry at the sight of any pitbull/ frenchie (because those are the fur babes that my family currently has). After going long enough without fur babes, I decided it was time to either get a dog myself or volunteer at an animal shelter. After lots of pros and cons lists, I decided that at this moment it would be best to go with the latter. Although I am huge dog lover, I know that with my lifestyle that it is in the best interest of that potential dog for me to wait until I am little older and little more settled. So while I may have made a decision for now, I figured that with the timing of national pet day and considering that its spring and temps are raising and you get more and more dog envy walking by the dogs parks (or is that just me?!) I figured I would share some of those thoughts and deciding factors that led me to my decision because while getting a dog can truly be one of the best things, they do require and deserve all the love and time and dedication so with that being said here are a few things to think about when asking yourself if it is time to get a dog.
Should I Get A Dog:
There are many benefits to being a dog mom or dog dad. For one thing, dogs make great companions. Being in your 20s can be a bit lonely, since it’s the time when many of us are getting used to living on our own, so a constant companion can help ease that feeling of loneliness. A dog will offer you unconditional love and acceptance; no matter how many break ups you go through, no matter how many friends move on to different places, your pup will always be there to offer love.
Owning a dog is also a great way to meet new people. I may be a bit biased but dog people are such friendly and happy people and especially easy to talk to if you are discussing their dogs. ! And dog people tend to gravitate toward each other; whether you find an amazing local dog park or choose to take your pup out with you to dog friendly places, you’ll meet other dog owners, and you and your pup can both make new friends! Dogs also give us a great reason to get active, as they require walks and exercise.
Despite all of these benefits, however, there are some things to consider before you head to the shelter to adopt a pup or head to the breeder to get yourself a fur babe. First and foremost, you need to remember that having a dog requires you to be responsible for another living being. You have to take them on walks, let them out multiple times a day, feed them, water them, and play with them, even when you don’t feel good.
You’ll also need to take a look at how much travel you do (and want to do). This was the biggest determining factor for myself, knowing that my family lives a long enough plane ride away and I will be traveling a lot this summer to see them! If you will be leaving your dog home alone a lot, it’s likely not the right time to get a pup. If you travel on occasion, consider who will take care of pup while you’re away (also consider just how expensive doggy day care or dog sitters cost!!). You next need to look at your budget; dogs need food, they need vaccines, they need vet care. They also need toys and dog sitters.
The last and perhaps biggest thing that you need to consider is how much time you have to dedicate, and are willing to dedicate, to training your new dog (especially if it’s a puppy). This was another determining factor for myself, knowing that I am someone who can be selfish about getting in my deep sleep and knowing that puppies do NOT sleep through the night. Plus, dogs need training to keep their minds stimulated to be happy dogs and to behave! Whether it is hiring a dog trainer or you familiarizing yourself with how to train a puppy, this will require time and resources regardless!
The other critical part to deciding that I myself have gone back and forth on when debating getting a dog- the type of dog! I have owned a wide range of dogs from tiny dogs like pugs to massive dogs like Rottweiler’s and Pitbull’s. All of them were equally amazing and all of them had their unique characteristics that it makes it much harder to decide between breeds. But knowing what your lifestyle is and being honest with what type of breed will best match that lifestyle is only fair for your future fur babe and your own happiness. If you are in an apartment- look into the types of breeds that are quiet apartment dogs and sociable enough to interact occasionally with other dogs in your building or on the street. I know that if I were to have my say in the type of dog I would get to best match the lifestyle I lead right now, it would likely be a Bichon Frise, due to my research and finding out their mild temper, moderate energy levels, and easy to travel with size!
If you are still not sure, ask one of your dog-owner friends if you can dog sit for a couple of days, see if it’s right for you during this time in your life. Take him out to the dog park, go out for walks, let him wake you up at 6:30 am for a walk. This will give you a good idea of your readiness for your own pup. And if you realize you just need some time to spend with a pup but can’t commit consider dog sitting or offering to watch your friends pup or even better give back and volunteer at your local shelter!