Are You Ready to Adopt A Pet?
So you're newly married, settled into your home together, and thinking you may want to adopt a dog as the next stage in your life. Does this sound like you? Well first of all, bless your heart. As a mama to three sweet, hilarious fur babies, I know firsthand the perks of pet-parenthood. But believe me, y'all, there are also some cons to pet ownership, too, so today I'm going to be really honest with you about both the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision!
Before heading to the animal shelter, ask yourself these questions:
Does my and/or my spouse's schedule have room for a dog?
If both you and your spouse have busy professions outside the home and are away for more than 4-6 hours during any given time, it may not be the best time for you to adopt a pet...unless you're willing to shell out a little cash for your fur baby to go to doggy day care (which is totally fun, too, by the way). If, however, you work close enough to come home and take breaks, or one of you is home at least every 4 hours or so, it may be a good opportunity for you to add a furry friend to the mix!
Do my spouse and I have the time (and energy!) to train a dog to fit our lifestyle?
Training a dog is serious work, y'all. It takes plenty of time, patience, and energy. I don't have kids of my own, but I imagine the beginning stages of bringing a dog into your home are not much different from bringing a baby into your home, quite honestly. Younger dogs require frequent potty breaks, often have to eat more times throughout the day, and really need plenty of playtime and attention so they are constant balls of energy. Properly training a pet requires putting them on a schedule that fits your lifestyle and strictly maintaining that schedule for several months, if not longer. We've trained, raised, and owned many dogs over the years, so we have learned a training routine that works best for us, but if you're new to pet-parenthood, you'll need to research training techniques ahead of time. If you don't feel this is something you have the time or energy to do right now, it might be best to wait. On the other hand, if you're ready to take on this adventure and don't mind sticking to a puppy schedule in the coming months, now may be a great time to adopt!
Can our current living conditions comfortably accommodate a pet?
If you're currently living in an apartment with little to no yard access, you may consider waiting until you have more space for your dog to play. It's not, however, a deal breaker if you're willing to walk your dog frequently and/or take them to a dog park for plenty of playtime! You'll also want to make sure there's plenty of space inside your home for your dog to relax comfortably.
Can we even afford it at this time in our lives?
While it may seem like adopting a dog is not a financial investment, it absolutely is! Dogs require routine vet visits (especially as a puppy), check-ups, and shots that aren't always cheap. They also require toys to keep them entertained (believe me, you don't want a bored dog in your home!), flea and tick medication, crates/beds, and food as some of their basic necessities. These items add up quickly, so if you don't feel financially sound already, I can guarantee adding a pet to your family isn't going to make it any better!
Can we provide a good home for a dog?
If you answered "Yes!" to all of these questions, you just may be seeing a sweet furry friend in your future. Now is the time to really communicate with your spouse about whether or not this is something both of you want, and if you're both willing to provide a loving, comfortable environment for your dog. As a mom to three dogs right now, I know first-hand that they have the sweetest, funniest, most caring personalities if you treat them with love and respect.
My three babies; Kip (shown above), Bridget (shown below), and Buckley (our newest baby, shown at the very bottom) bring so much job to my life every day, so if you're ready, I promise you won't regret taking the plunge! And if/when you do adopt, send me all the pup photos to "ooh" and "aah" over all day long!