Responsibilities of Getting a Dog

Dogs are adorable and it can be incredibly tempting to see their cute little faces and want to take one home to cuddle forever. However, despite the urge to do that, dogs are huge responsibilities and it’s important to be mindful that they are not toys but living beings that require a lot of time and attention to take care of.

Training

If you’re getting a puppy then you are really bringing home a baby that is experiencing the world for the first time. The good news is that with any dog you bring home, whether young or old, you will become the light of their life and you will have so much fun as you play, cuddle and socialize together. The relatively bad news, however, is that you will have to train them. Older dogs are usually potty trained already but puppies most likely are not. The reason this is bad is that dogs pee a lot. If you’ve never had a dog you might think, “well yeah dogs pee a lot – all animals pee,” but dogs really do pee a lot. I know that I was shocked to see how much my dog had to go when I first got him. They also pee to mark their territory, which is why sometimes you will see a dog pee on the same spot another dog just peed on - they are claiming their territory. While potty training can be very frustrating, you have to keep in mind that you are taking care of and teaching a baby.

Other than potty training, there is also just regular command training. Command training might sound a bit harsh, but that’s basically what it is as you’re teaching your dog commands to follow. Essentially, you are teaching your dog a language but only in a limited quantity. Dogs vary greatly and each one is unique, so the amount of time you have to spend teaching your dog commands or tricks will differ greatly from other dogs. Funnily enough, the first command your dog learns is “no” or its equivalent if you speak a different language. Whether you want to teach your dog just the basics like “give me paw” or “sit” or you want to go above and beyond and teach them to open doors, just know that your dog will learn a lot more than just what you teach them directly. For instance, my family didn’t deliberately teach my dog the word “hug” and yet, through repetition and association, when we say the word “hug” now, his ears perk up and he looks over to see if he can also receive this hug we speak of.

Puppy Hand Fun Ring Summer Hapy Original Charlotte Reader / Her Campus

Cost

Dogs are expensive! The upfront fee to adopt dogs can range from $0-$14,000. No joke, the Samoyed according to https://www.prudentpet.com/ is the most expensive dog breed in the world, costing $14000, which is absolutely wild. However, you can rest assured that most dogs are not that expensive upfront. Purebred dogs do usually end up costing more than mixed breeds, but all breeds deserve love and all would love to be adopted. The issue of cost is not just at the start; remember that dogs are not toys and need food, water, shelter, healthcare, toys etc. Vet appointments are especially very expensive but still important to go to in order to check the health of your little friend.

Man holding puppy Lydia Torrey

Commitment

As I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear by now, dogs are a lifetime commitment. That means for life, not just puppy-life. It is incredibly heartbreaking to hear stories about people returning dogs to adoption centres because they have gotten too big or were too much of a responsibility. Dogs are not too much of a responsibility and there is no such thing as a dog that’s too big. You should do your research if you aren’t sure about a certain breed to see what size they’ll grow up to be and their projected costs. If you are not ready to take the responsibility needed to raise a dog then you shouldn’t get one. They are animals that trust you to take care of them and to turn your back on them because they weren’t what you expected is sad. Pets of any kind are not just something you can return, so if you aren’t 100% sure that you are ready for a dog, don’t get one. Wait it out, save up money or offer to dog-sit your friend’s dog to prepare yourself for the commitment if you aren’t sure yet.

If you do feel ready though and think you can handle the responsibility of having a dog, I can assure you that dogs really are a [wo]man’s best friend. It might possibly be your greatest decision yet.

Anna Schultz-Girls Smiling Hanging Out With Dog Anna Schultz / Her Campus