To date you’ve bought your kids countless stuffed animals, a goldfish (well several actually but the kids don’t know that) and you have even tried promising a kitten – but it’s just not cutting it. YOUR KIDS WANT A DOG!
As a life-long dog lover, life with a dog is a blast – if you do it right! But is it right for you? So here is the naked truth. It all comes down to one question – the same one you’d tell your friend to ask herself if she was thinking of having a baby ... Am I ready for my life to change?
Just like having a child, you have to factor your dog into EVERY part of your day. If you’re cool with this list of scary stuff, keep reading. But if the answers are no, a dog is clearly not on your horizon. NO guilt. In fact, feel good that you’re making a responsible choice now. Celebrate with a latte and secretly smile as you watch other people walking their dogs in the rain.
Are you ready for the reality check?
1. Puppies take a lot of time. Think: house training, puppy classes, proper socialization and constant supervision. Is this the year you’ll be happy to schedule your life around your dog?
2. Dogs aren't cheap. Bills will come from the vet, the groomer, the dog walker, the boarding kennel, and the pet store! Are you ready for them?
3. Get ready to exercise. Dogs need a minimum of one hour of exercise every day. Maybe more. If you have your heart set on a border collie you can easily treble that estimate. It doesn’t matter if it is minus 20 degrees out. Twice a day you need to get out there and exercise your dog. Are you ready with your snow boots on?
4. Dogs make mistakes. They chew the stuff everybody loves. Are you happy to stay up all night on eBay searching for an exact replica of your kid’s favorite ‘stuff toy’ after your dog rips it to shreds?
5. Lassie isn't real. Kids and dogs don’t naturally know how to behave around each other. Do you have the time and energy to train them all?
6. Expect the unexpected. Bad stuff can happen - like your dog getting sick, starting to growl at your kids or deciding he’s afraid of all men except your husband. Are you ready to pony up the time, effort and money to fix something like that?
7. Parents do all the work. Yes, kids may help (a little, at first), but at the end of the day it’s really on you! Are you willing to meditate away the resentment, put on your happy face and just get on with it?
You’ve probably got the picture by now. Getting a dog is really no different to having another child. So before you pull the trigger, make absolutely sure you’re ready. That cute little ball of fur will bring SO MUCH to your life, just remind yourself of that at 3am when you’re standing in your PJs, shin-deep in snow, waiting for him to pee (again).