We’ve all heard the saying ‘a dog is for life’ at some stage. It’s a popular and important measure for countless rescue centers, and it’s a motto by which anyone thinking about getting a dog should live. Unfortunately, when you’re picking out cute dog bowls and looking at puppy pictures, it’s all too easy to forget what the ‘for life’ part of this saying means.
Of course, this doesn’t make you a bad owner, nor does it mean that you can’t still love your dog and do right by them. But, focusing on only the cutesy parts of dog ownership can mean that you’re in for a nasty shock at times when your four-legged commitment becomes more of an inconvenience than a joy.
Luckily, as any dog owner knows, the joyous parts of having a pooch way outstrip these so-called inconveniences. But, to make sure that you really are ready for the long-term commitment (10-13 years on average) of dog ownership, it’s worth considering the few times in life when having a dog can take a turn for the slightly more annoying.
Somewhere to live
If you’re on the housing ladder and have the expendable income to buy with your dog in mind (garden, space, etc.) then housing doesn’t really need to appear in your decision here. If you’re renting or stuck in apartment ownership, however, you’ve got some thinking to do. Luckily, with dog-friendly apartments meaning that you can still make this work, there’s no reason to entirely rule dogs out of any living situation. That said, with dogs often making it harder to secure properties and even narrowing your options where rentals are concerned, you should consider your willingness to make these compromises ahead of committing.
What about when you go away?
No-vacation life can be difficult for anyone to deal with, especially those of us with a healthy dose of wanderlust. As such, anyone looking to get a dog should also consider potential care options for if they ever want to get away. Having friends or family who would be happy to either house sit or have your dog during your trip is obviously ideal, though it’s helpful to have at least two relatives or friends willing to take this step. Equally, researching dog boarding can help you to see if there are any local options that you’d realistically feel comfortable using.
Thinking to the future
The long-term nature of your four-legged commitment means that you should also consider the future. If you don’t have them already, kids should especially feature here in terms of how your dog would react/how you would juggle responsibilities. Equally, thinking about escalating health conditions etc. can help you to envision, realistically, how a dog fits into your life, and your future.
A dog is for life, and this can be great news given all of the years you’ll get to spend with them. The question is, are you ready to face even the hard times of that commitment for a future that you can all be happy with?