7 Things to Think About Before Getting A Dog

This year I made a really big to decision to get a dog. I’d always wanted a dog and but it seemed like a huge commitment and I didn’t want to take it lightly. I thought about it a lot and I definitely made the right decision but there are things I didn’t realize would affect my life as much as they did. Here are some things that affected more than I thought they would:

 

7. The Dirt

Dogs are messy. They walk around outside without shoes, they roll around in whatever they want, they’ll eat anything and it goes on. I knew getting a dog would make my life messier but I didn’t realize how bad it would be. There is hair literally everywhere. In my car, in my clothes,in my bed, and my food. I have to empty my vacuum every other week it feels. There are things you can do to avoid this but at the end of the day, having a dog will make your life messier.

 

6. Surprise Charges

I definitely thought about how expensive getting a dog would be. He requires food, regular vet checks, grooming, and toys. Those are expected charges and I made sure I could afford before I got a dog. I also thought about the possibility of health issues. Dogs get sick and need things like surgery or medication. Those things usually happen later in a dog’s life and I talked to my parents about their willingness to help if I needed to have a surgery. Luckily Zeus has never needed surgery but he got severe allergies in the spring and that was an $80 visit and $30 medication. This wasn’t a critical emergency and I had to pay for it myself.

5. Smelly

My dog isn’t just dirty, he stinks. I try to give him a bath once a month but he smells bad the day after. He has dog breath and is always gassy. I didn’t think it would bother me but it does. I try to find ways to combat the way he especially makes my bedroom smell but it’s difficult. He hates baths and lots of air fresheners are bad for pets to inhale. I’ve grown used to the way he smells but it definitely bothered me for a while.

 

4. Traveling

Traveling with a dog is hard. Even if you don’t travel WITH your dog. Planning trips where I want to bring my dog is hard. I can’t leave him in my hotel room all day and not all hotels allow dogs. He is an emotional support animal so technically, he can come with me everywhere but a pet friendly hotel makes much more sense. It brings comfort that they aren’t making an exception for me just in case something happens, even though he’s well behaved. Traveling when I want to leave him home is hard too. I have to find someone to watch him and since I have a roommate, he has to be able to stay at their place. I wouldn’t trade him for quite literally the world but if this is important to you, don’t get a dog.

3. Sleep Schedule

Monday-Friday, I don't’t really notice having a dog. I have to get up for class or work, so getting up to walk my dog isn’t a big deal. But when I have a day where I could sleep in, I notice having a dog. Those Monday-Friday walks have trained him to know that’s when we go on a walk. He might give me an extra hour but if you’re in college, you know sometimes that’s not enough to recover from whatever you were doing the night before. If you have a house, this might not be a big deal, just let them in the backyard. But I live in an apartment so taking him out can feel like a chore.

 

2. Schedule

I have to make sure I can properly take care of my dog with work and school. I can’t work for 8 hours and then head straight to school unless I know he has a way to relieve himself. This hasn’t been an issue really but it can be. My roommate has always been helpful but he is not her dog so I can’t depend on her completely, as he is not her responsibility. If you don’t want restrictions on your schedule, really think about this.

 

1. Guilt.

My dog is always on my mind because I love him so much. I just want to give him the best but sometimes I feel like I fall short. I imagine this is how parents feel with their kids. I got a dog to benefit my depression, he’d give me a reason to get out of bed and give me a lot of unconditional love but I didn’t think about what I give him. I often feel like it’s not enough. I think about him when I’m out and feel terrible that I’m not there with him. Make sure you’re in a position to give your dog the best so that you’re not left feeling like a terrible dog parent.