12 Realities You Must Accept Before You Get A Dog

Here's what you need to understand before adopting a dog.

So, you’re thinking of adding a furry friend to your family, and we think that’s great! However, there are a few things you must accept before getting the dog.

Everything is about to change.

1. Change

We’ll say it again: Everything is about to change. After adopting your dog, you will quickly find out that everything you knew about dogs before doesn’t apply to this one. This is a wildly different experience than having a family dog and the pressure is on.

Your entire life will revolve around this fuzzy beast, and all your pre-conceived notions of what life is like as a parent will be tossed to the wind. Everything from your current to future plans will be changed forever.

Are you ready?

12 Realities You Must Accept Before You Get A Dog

2. Responsibility

Before adopting a dog, remind yourself that this is not a stuffed animal.  This is a living, breathing, eating, pooping machine that needs round the clock care. You are responsible for its entire life and well-being, and you can actually go to jail if you don’t do a good job.

That’s right. You are 100% responsible for a living thing other than yourself. Terrifying, right?

If you aren’t responsible enough to care for yourself, you might not be ready for a dog.

12 Realities You Must Accept Before You Get A Dog

3. Scheduling

Forget about your extra-curricular activities, your schedule now revolves around your dog. Say goodbye to late night drinks, summer beach parties, and dinner/movie combo dates. Once you bring a dog into your home, you must alter your schedule to work around his feeding, sleeping, and exercise times.

Crate training is a great resource, but you won’t always be able to use it. Dogs shouldn’t be left alone in their crates for more than a few hours, and some days are too hot to even think about crating.

Basically, once you get a dog, you won’t participate in many non-doggy activities.

12 Realities You Must Accept Before You Get A Dog

4. Expenses

Dogs are expensive! Once you adopt a dog, you can guarantee that all of your money will go toward them. Food, treats, toys, supplies, vet bills, puppy classes, doggy daycare, grooming, and many more expenses will be added to your monthly bill. Your dog will become the most expensive thing in your life, even if you try to spend the bare minimum. Let’s face it, we all spoil our dogs. 

Let’s break down the average start-up cost of adopting a dog!

Adoption Fee: $300

Spay/Neuter: $150 – $400 depending on size and age

Shots: $150

Food: $80

Collar and Leash: $20 – $40

Crate: $50

Supplies (pads, dog bags, etc): $50

Total: $650 – $1,070

Monthly bills generally consist of food and supplies. 

12 Realities You Must Accept Before You Get A Dog

5. Travelling

Are you a world traveller? Not anymore!

If you love to adventure and explore other countries, you’re going to have to kiss that hobby goodbye. Most people who travel with their dogs will say that it is one of the toughest and most frustrating experiences. Not to mention expensive and a little scary.

On top of outrageous transport costs, most countries require a pricey quarantine before your dog can visit, as well as mandatory vetting. Once your dog has entered the country, you then have to worry about emergency vet visits, scheduling your trip around dog-friendly activities, and finding appropriate accommodations. On the way home, you may have to put your pup through another quarantine, and potentially dangerous transport.

Traveling is very stressful for dogs, which is why most parents opt to leave their pups at home. However, this presents another problem of dog sitting, boarding kennels, or daycare. Most kennels charge between $35 – $50 per night! If you can’t convince a family member or friend to watch your pup, you may be looking at a very pricey endeavor.

12 Realities You Must Accept Before You Get A Dog

6. Career Opportunities

Similar to traveling, reasonable career opportunities dwindle once you welcome a dog into your life.

Many careers involve long days, late nights, and travel. Unless you plan on bringing your dog along – office dogs are pretty great – you might have to consider other options.

Finding a career with a flexible schedule, or one that allows you take breaks to let your dog outside are tough to find. Consider looking for pet friendly office spaces, or working from home!

12 Realities You Must Accept Before You Get A Dog

7. Appropriate Housing

Finding pet-friendly housing is quite possibly the single worst experience ever.

Even cities, who claim to be the “most pet friendly in the country” will have little to no options for dog parents. And the places that claim to be pet friendly will have some wild restrictions like weight, height, or breed.

As well as being hard to find, pet friendly rentals are incredibly expensive compared to regular housing, and usually require separate deposits. For example, monthly rent for a 1 bed, 1 bath may be $1100 per month. The damage deposit will be $550, and the pet deposit will be an additional $550. Your total first month’s rent will cost you $2200…

If you aren’t a home owner, adopting a dog may be a bad idea.

12 Realities You Must Accept Before You Get A Dog

8. Relationships

Relationships, whether they be friendships or partnerships, will be made infinitely more difficult once you adopt your dog. Many of your friends won’t understand the time and dedication it takes to raise a dog, and your significant other may not be prepared for their share of the work.

You will also experience issues with your family, as a lot of them might not support your decision to adopt a dog. Especially if they’ve been pressuring you to have a baby, and you come home with a pup.

In truth, you don’t want dog haters in your life anyway. So, this is a good way to weed out the weak!

12 Realities You Must Accept Before You Get A Dog

9. Research

Raising your dog will require a lot of research!

From nutrition to training, caring for a dog takes a lot of knowledge that you may not necessarily have. The internet is a great resource, but you will also have to gain knowledge from other parents, trainers, and veterinarians.

We suggest doing the bulk of the research before bringing your pup home, and learning more along the way. You must learn the basics to properly introduce your dog to his new life.

12 Realities You Must Accept Before You Get A Dog

10. Dedication

Raising a dog takes more dedication than most people realize!

As we said before, you are responsible for everything in it’s life. You are expected to be in control of your dog at all times, especially in public. The first stages of puppyhood are dependant on your training skills. You will be tested and tried beyond your breaking point daily for the first two years of parenthood.

Think of raising a dog in the early years as boot camp. A boot camp that can last more than a decade.

12 Realities You Must Accept Before You Get A Dog

11. Making Compromises

Compromising with your dog is imperative to having a healthy relationship. Most people think of raising a dog as either catering to it’s every will, or making it obey you at all times. Neither are right.

You must work with your dog to compromise on almost everything to ensure that you are both happy and healthy. Sometimes this means going for a walk when you don’t want to, or making him take a time-out after a long play.

You will also have to compromise with your schedule to make sure that both you and your dog are satisfied. You can’t drop everything to raise a dog, and you can’t ignore his needs. It will take a while to find a healthy balance, but you’ll be grateful when you do.

12 Realities You Must Accept Before You Get A Dog

12. Commitment

This is the single most important thing you must understand before adopting a dog.

Committing to your dog will be the biggest commitment you make before having children.

When you adopt a dog, you make a promise to him that you will care for him until the day he dies. Not until you get bored, have to move, or have human kids. Adopting a dog is commitment that may last 10 – 15 years.

Most people don’t realize this when they bring home their new puppy, which is why the world is filled with homeless and abused dogs. If you are considering adopting a dog, make sure you are prepared to spend your dog’s entire life with him.

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