Okay, wait what?!?! Am I reading this right? An animal lover AND a pet blogger writing a post about why you should not get a dog?! Am I crazy? Well maybe. But not for this reason. Listen, of course, I want all dogs to be adopted, and everyone to have puppies and spoil them and love them forever. Unfortunately, that is not reality. While I would love for everyone to spoil their dogs, and give them a great life, some people are just not meant to have dogs. At least not yet.
So if you’re thinking about getting a dog, and you fall into any of these categories, I would take a second to think about it. Puppies, while great, are a big responsibility. The decision to get one needs to be a well-researched decision. Once you get a puppy, it is a decision for 10+ years, and you want to make sure you’re ready for that kind of commitment.
I don’t want this post to be taken as harsh, mean, or insensitive. However, my biggest pet peeve is when people get animals and then just give up on them. If I sound frustrated or passionate about this, the truth is I am. Animals lean on us to help them, and when people exploit that, I want to turn into a very mean person.
1. You only want a puppy
Alright, let’s just dig right into the dirt. Update! YOU SHOULD NOT GET A DOG IF YOU ONLY LIKE THE LOOK OF A PUPPY. Yes, puppies are adorable. Oh my gosh, are they just one of the cutest things ever. But, the puppy is going to grow up into a dog. They are not going to stay the size of a puppy forever.
When getting a puppy, you can enjoy the time in which they are a puppy. What you cannot do is forget about them once they become a dog. Like I said before, a puppy is a deal for their entire life. Good and bad. Puppy and dog.
The number of shelters who are filled with one-year-old dogs that their owners turned in because they decided they did not want a dog, it makes me sick. Those people get a breed because the puppy looks cute. Then once they realize that a Burmese Mountain Dog gets a little bigger than it’s the original size, they no longer want it. They drop the dog off at the shelter saying it is ‘too rowdy’ or ‘has too much energy for their lifestyle’.
If you are one of these people who thinks puppies are cute and only want the cute puppy, think again. If you only want a short term puppy situation, perhaps think about fostering instead. You can get your puppy fun, but can “pass them off” eventually. Fostering is a much better option than adopting a puppy and giving it to the shelter. Instead, you are helping to keep the shelter volumes down so they can advertise for the puppies only. Then the puppies get a nice, warm loving home until they find their forever home.
2. You don’t actually want a dog
Next, you don’t actually want a dog. But Paige, why would I not want a dog?! I’m thinking about adopting one after all? Well, this is where I will challenge you on that. Do you really want a dog? Or do you just like the idea of a dog?
The idea of a dog is great! Someone to snuggle up with, run with, and provide company when you are feeling lonely. But what about the real stuff that comes with a dog? What about potty training? When your puppy has accidents in the house? Or chews your favorite shoes because he or she is teething?
Dogs come with good and bad. For every snuggle, there is an accident or headache that comes along with it. If you only want the good parts of a dog, then you don’t actually want a dog. You want the idea of a dog. Or a dog that is already trained.
Puppies, especially, require a lot of training in the beginning. You have to teach your dog an acceptable way to behave. It is very similar to babies. As cute a babies are, they also come with the crying and the diaper changes. If you only want to hold a sweet baby but hand them back when they start crying, you don’t want a kid. And sure, there are things you can do to make the first few nights easier, like treats and toys, but there is still time and effort that goes along with it.
If you think you only like the good things about the dogs and the bad things scare you, maybe wait to get a dog. This isn’t to say that you never will want one, just maybe not now. What you want to avoid is getting in over your head, then giving up when it gets tough. If you are willing to dig your heels in when it gets tough, then maybe a dog is a good fit. Just make sure it is something you have really thought about.
3. You don’t have time for a dog
Ugh, this one is hard. Actually, it is really hard for me because there is a lot of controversy around it. I usually recommend people only get dogs if they are not big travelers, are home a lot, and/or can afford to have their dogs taken care of. Dogs are not like cats. They need to be taken outside to go to the bathroom, then need regular exercise, and require effort.
If you are not willing to put the time in for caring for a dog 9 times out of 10, then you should not be a dog owner. Honestly, that is the reason I currently do not have a dog now. My parents have a dog, my friends have a dog, but not me. For right now, I am just the fun aunt to them all.
That is because with my work schedule, and other duties, I know I cannot give a dog the time it deserves. If and when I get a dog, I want to make sure I have time to exercise them and train them properly.
The reason this is so controversial is that for a lot of people, they cannot realistically be home with a dog all day every day. They have to go to work. They have to leave the house sometime! What? That means that they can’t come home to a loving companion? Because they have a career, they have to have an empty house? Well, no.
Luckily, if you are not always home, there are still a lot of options for you. And that doesn’t mean you CAN’T have a pet. There are so many things that exist nowadays to help pet owners give their pets a happy life. My cats are a perfect example. I have a pet camera that currently sits in our living room that I can check in on the kitties at any time and make sure they have safe and sound. There are even some pet cameras that owners can give their cats a treat, like these. And probably best of all, there are now jobs that exist for pet sitting services. Companies like Rover, exist to help to provide pet sitting services to pet owners while they are away. There are instances where pet owners can hire people to come in and check on their cats while they are away, or take their dogs on a walk in the middle of the day
If you know you are not going to be home all the time, that doesn’t mean that you cannot get a dog. It just means that you may need to spend money to provide the care needed for them. A perfect example is one of my best friends. Like me, she has a full-time job. Like me, she has a life! She also has an adorable pitbull dog.
Is her pitbull unhappy because she is gone all day? Nope! Why? Because she takes the steps needed to give the dog a happy life. She takes her to doggie daycare at least twice a week and takes the dog for walks on the other days.
She prioritizes her time so that the puppy can still have a good, happy life. If you are one of these people, then this is not talking about you. This is for the people who want to be gone for 12+ hours a day with their dog sitting at home holding their bladder for you to get home. This is also for the people who don’t want to pay for doggie daycare. Which leads me into my next topic.
4. You don’t have money for a dog
Ouch! This one is also tough, but true. Dogs cost money. That’s a common fact. They require food, water, and toys just to keep them alive. Animals also require doctor visits, more commonly known as visits to the vet.
If you are someone who lives paycheck to paycheck, not counting the dog, please rethink the dog. The last thing that you want is to get a puppy, and then not be able to pay for their food. Or have to get the bare necessities for them. That is not fair for either of you. Your dog will not be happy, and you will feel bad about not being able to give your dog more.
The other thing you really need to consider before getting a puppy is vet visits. Dogs can get sick. Sickness requires vet visits. I cannot tell you the number of posts about people asking about what is wrong with their pet. When people say go to the vet, they usually respond with, I can’t afford it.
If you cannot afford a vet visit, then you should not have a dog. I am not talking about the one-off visits where your animal has a horrible injury that requires thousands of dollars of surgery. I am talking about your dog is acting weird but you cannot afford taking them to the vet until payday.
It is not fair to let your animal be in paid, or to ask others to help you take care of your dog. Like I’ve said before, dogs are a lot of responsibility. One of which is financial responsibility. If you are not able to provide basic care for your dog, you should wait until you are more financially stable to adopt. (One last thing to call out though. If you are reading this, own a dog, and are thinking you cannot afford it, DO NOT abandon that dog. If you really cannot afford to take care of it, it is your job to find it another loving home. Abandoning your dog is selfish, horrific and just evil).
There are also a lot of tips to help you save money while owning a pet. So dog ownership does not have to be expensive. In my post 6 Dog Products You Should Be Buying on Amazon, you can order dog supplies in bulk for cheaper than store price and allow your pets to lead a happy life. If even budget saving tips with your puppy seems unreasonable to you, that is when you need to rethink kitten adoption.
Reason number five. You should not get a dog if you know you are going to be moving far away, or if you are in a renting situation. Now, I need to clear the air on something. I am not saying that anyone who rents should not get a dog. Not at all! What I am saying is that if you are renting, moving every year, and have situations where dogs are not allowed, you may want to reconsider adopting.
There are a lot of people who will get a dog, and then need to rehome them because they are ‘moving to another country’ or ‘their apartment doesn’t allow pets’. If this is you, do not get a dog! If you know you want to travel to another country, or there are desired area doesn’t allow pets, do not get a dog!
Again, to repeat myself, this is not for all renters! There was one girl who I was talking about this on social media. She is a renter and has a beautiful puppy. She said she would sooner be homeless, living in her car with her dog before choosing a place to live that doesn’t allow dogs. You get to chose your place to live in most situations. If there is a place that does not allow dogs, and you own a dog, choose another place. It’s as simple as that.
If you want the freedom to travel the world, or rent wherever you want, do not get a dog until you are more settled. If it is not fair to the dog for you to ditch them as soon as you find an opportunity that seems more fun for you. It needs to be, where you go, the dog goes. Simple as that.
6. Not an animal lover
Eh, I may be being a bit dramatic but I figured it was better than labeling it pure evil. I don’t know why these people exist and I hope karma gets them good. But there are some people who should not own pets because they simply do not like them.
Animal cruelty literally makes me crazy. If you are wanting a dog and abuse, neglect it, harm it or whatever, you are evil. You are the scum of the earth and the worst kind of human. Animals need our help and trust that humans will take care of them. You are abusing that power and making them untrusting of humans.
It is not funny, it is not cute. It is sick. I hope that anyone who does this to animals and reads this feels as horrible as they are. If you know you don’t like animals, or don’t care about them, DO NOT ADOPT! Simple as that! Get a pet rock.
Wow, Paige, way to end that one a harsh note. But I do want this topic to be taken seriously. There are so many wonderful dogs that are sitting in shelters because of one of these reasons above. I’m not calling these people evil (except number 6, you are evil).
They were probably just misinformed about everything that goes into taking care of a dog.
If someone is reading this and takes a second thought as to adopting a dog, and one less dog ends up abandoned because of it, then I would consider this post a success.