On a site like this one, you're probably expecting to read articles about how wonderful it is to own a dog and how everyone needs a dog in their family. Although we sure do love dogs, and we think they are a great addition to your family, there are also a few good reasons NOT to get a dog.
Most people love dogs, puppies especially. As we get older and we think about moving out of our parent’s house, many of us think about adopting a dog to keep us company. Or maybe you’ve got a family of our own, you’re about to retire, or you’ve recently lost a pet and want to find another companion. Whatever the reason, sometimes it just seems like a good time to get a dog.
Sometimes, even if we love dogs and want to have one of our own, there are just circumstances that make it hard to provide for a dog the way he deserves. If you’re wondering if now is really the right time to get a dog, here are 6 good reasons NOT to get a dog.
6 Good Reasons NOT to Get a Dog
Take a minute and just ask yourself: “Do I really like dogs? Do I really like animals in general?” Some people just do not like dogs – and that’s OK! You don’t have to force it, and it’s worse if you adopt a dog and decide that being a dog owner isn’t for you.
Be honest with yourself, and be honest with people if they criticize you for not liking dogs. It’s your life – you don’t have to do what everyone thinks you should.
2. You’re Just Lonely
Trust me, I get it. I got my first two dogs shortly after moving out of my (loud, crowded, active) parent’s house because I couldn’t handle the silence. Then reality set in, and I realized I was responsible for two living creatures on top of paying the rent, going to school full time, and somehow still having a social life.
It certainly cured the loneliness, but it put undue stress on me and my finances (and my free time). If you’re feeling lonely, try to fill the void with friends and family, rather than adopting a fur baby you might not be ready for. Adopting a dog just for the company is on of the top good reasons not to get a dog.
3. You’re Insanely Busy
The time to adopt a dog is not when you barely have time to sleep or eat, let alone potty train a dog. Dogs, and especially puppies, require a ton of energy and time upfront in order to get them settled, trained, and acclimated to their new life.
If you’re working, going to school, have small children, travel a lot, etc., you really need to sit down and evaluate how much time you can commit. If you decide it’s not enough time, that’s OK! You can wait until you have more time.
4. You’re Broke
You may be thinking, “Hey, at least a dog is cheaper than a kid.” Wrong. Kids may be expensive, but odds are you haven’t really thought about how expensive a dog really is. It’s not just the adoption fee or purchase price. If you’ve never had a dog before you have to take into account the supplies you'll need like:
- a crate
- water bowl
- food bowl
- dog food
- leash and collar
- vet bills
- replacements for the things they chew
…and the list goes on and on!
Then there is the dreaded emergency vet bill. What if your new fur friend has a medical condition, or eats a whole drawer full of your socks (speaking from experience here)? What if you take your dog for a hike and he needs stitches and antibiotics? Things happen, and they often cost a lot of money when they do.
If you’re already having a hard time making ends meet, throwing a variable like a new puppy in the mix might end in disaster. This is one of the most important good reasons NOT to get a dog!
It’s better to say that now is not the right time to adopt a canine companion than to say you have to find a new home for your lovable pooch if something goes wrong.
5. You’re About to Have a Baby
There is just something about a dog and a baby together that melts everyone’s heart. If you’re pregnant or expecting a child, you may even be tempted to get a dog so you can train it before the baby comes.
But now may not be the time. If you're looking for good reasons not to get a dog, a baby is definitely one of them!
For one, if you’re a pregnant woman, taking care of a puppy is going to be exhausting. You have to consider that before adopting.
There’s the whole period after when the baby comes, where you may not have the time to keep up with the puppy or dog, especially in regards to training. Dogs need a lot of training at first to maintain their behavior as they age.
Then, there’s the other big concern: What if the baby is allergic to dogs? Many people assume that because they and their significant other aren’t allergic, that the baby won’t be either. This can end badly, because you can’t predict everything and may have to find your dog a new home (obviously you have to keep the baby).
In this case, wait until the baby is born and see if you have the time, energy, and ability to provide for a puppy or dog. You can also make sure your baby isn’t allergic to dogs, which saves so much emotional trauma for everyone.
6. You’re Not Active
If you work long hours and don’t have time to get out of the house, you’re disabled and can’t do much, or you just really don’t like moving around, you should really reconsider before adopting or buying a dog. Dogs, no matter the breed, have a lot of energy and need to expend it or they tend to get a little naughty.
When I first adopted my dogs, I didn’t realize that small breeds still needed tons of exercise. After they chewed through my carpet, I started to wizen up.
The same goes for dogs of any breed; they need exercise. If you can’t get them out for a walk frequently, or can’t play with them every day, odds are you’re going to have a furball of energy and chaos when you get home.
Take the Time
If you don’t have the time to sit down and consider the pros and cons of adopting a dog right now, you don’t have time for a dog. Often, adopting or buying a new pet is an emotional decision rather than a logical one, but it needs to be both.
Providing for a new dog is the most important thing, so try to make sure you can provide the best life possible. There are many good reasons not to get a dog, and you need to consider them all carefully.